Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "The Quakers in Great Britain and America : the religious and political history of the Society of Friends from the seventeenth to the twentieth century"

See other formats






The Life of Charles Darwin G. P. Putnam s Sons, New York 

The Holders of Holderness. .. .Bailey, Banks & Biddle, Philadelphia 

The Marvels of Animal Life Charles Scribner s Sons, New York 

The History of the Elephant (The Ivory King) ... .Charles Scribner s 
Sons, New York 

Along the Florida Reef D. Appleton & Co., New York 

The Game Fishes of the Sea (America) . . . .The Outing Co., New York 

Stories of Animal Life American Book Company, New York 

The Treasure Divers Dodd, Mead & Co., New York 

The Big Game Fishes of America. .. .The Macmillan Co., New York 

The Boy Anglers D. Appleton & Co., New York 

Angling (Joint author with Dr. Yale and others) ... .Chas. Scribner s 

Sons, New York 

Half Hours with Nature Fishes an d Reptiles. .. .American Book Co., 
Half Hours with Nature The Lower Animals. . . .American Book Co., 

New York 
Half Hours with Nature The Birds and Mammals. .. .American 

Book Co., New York 

Leading American Men of Science. ... Henry Holt & Co., New York 
The Channel Islands of California. .. .A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago 
The Marooner B. W. Dodge & Co., New York 

Fish Stories (Pres. David Starr Jordan and C. F. Holder H. Holt 

& Co., New York 
The Game Fishes of the Pacific Coast.... The Dodge Publishing Co., 

New York 

The Recreations of a Sportsman G. P. Putnam Sons, New York 

Life in the Open in Southern California.. . . G. P. Putnam Sons, N. Y. 

Big Game at Sea The Outing Co., New York 

The Log of a Sea Angler Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston 

The Life of Louis Agassiz G. P. Putnam s Sons, New York 

The Adventures of Torqua Little, Brown & Co., Boston 

The Luminous Animals and Plants (Living Lights) . .Chas Scribner s 

Sons, New York 

Elements of Zoology The American Book Co., New York 

A Strange Company D. Lothrop & Co., Boston 

Stories of Nature Dodd, Mead & Co., New York 

An Isle of Summer R. Y. McBride, Los Angeles, Cal. 

The Game Fishes of the World Hodder & Stoughton, London 

From tJic Sirarthmore Painting by LeJy 

The Quakers 


Great Britain and America 


Religious and Political History of the Society 

of Friends from the Seventeenth to 

the Twentieth Century 



Author of "The Pioneer Quakers," "The Life of Agassiz," "Life 

and Work of Charles Darwin," The Channel Islands 

of California," " Leading American 

Men of Science," Etc. 


New York Los Angeles London 





Descendant of 

The Pioneer Quaker Ministers 

Christopher Holder and Peleg Slocum 

The Quaker Governor Wanton of Rhode Island 

and of 
Captain Miles Standish 


There is a dearth of purely historical works written 
during the period of the early Quaker activities in the 
Seventeenth Century, or from 1645 to 1700, though there 
are seemingly endless pamphlets and papers relating to 
the purely doctrinal, religious, or controversial side of 

This being the case, the modern historian or student draws 
much of his authentic information from such sources as 
the Journal of George Fox, Sewell, the Dutch historian of 
the Quakers, Bowden, Besse, Bishop s "New England 
Judged," a few others, and the vagrant historical data ob 
tained from monographs, pamphlets, letters, records of 
meetings, etc., collected by indefatigable workers in Devon 
shire House, London, and the various Historical Societies 
of Friends, and by college and private libraries in both 
countries. There are a number of eminent modern works 
devoted to various periods and phases of Quakerism, its 
distinguished men and women, the philosophy and mys 
ticism of the subject, and its various religious phases and 
controversial episodes, all appealing to the student or his 
torian or the reader of history. But neither in England nor 
America have I found a popularly written, well illustrated, 
condensed history of Quakerism as a whole, from the birth 
of George Fox to approximately 1913, in one volume. 

It is this desideratum that I have attempted, or hoped 
in some measure to supply. I am aware that it is much more 
difficult to make a successful or useful book of this sort 
than a history like that of Besse or Sewell, which contains 


the minute details of the subject. I am also aware that my 
sense of proportion and of values may not meet the appro 
bation of some, as consistent and perfect condensation is 
more or less a science in itself; but I have endeavored to 
put- myself in the place of a reader hunting in a library 
for the brief essentials of Quakerism, as I found myself in 
the British Museum library in 1910, and have made my 
own demands and necessities my guide for better or for 

I have attempted to make a history, eliminating or con 
densing what I conceive to be the non-essentials in such a 
work (features of importance and interest, which have been 
ably treated in special works easily available). I have 
endeavored to prepare a history for the masses, yet one 
in which the student or historian will find the essential 
facts of Quakerism without having to refer to interminable 
works and pamphlets scattered over America and England, 
in very few libraries in the United States outside of New 
York, Philadelphia, Boston, and certain schools and col 
leges, as Haverford, Swarthmore and others. 

To illustrate. I have mentioned but briefly the Hicksite 
separation, as the subject is fully treated in many works 
and in the Life of Elias Hicks. Nor have I gone into the 
minutiae of the Joseph John Gurney schism about which a 
volume could be written. In a word, I have hoped to 
present a popularly written condensed history of the 
Quakers, yet covering a wide range. In the treatment of the 
subject I have emphasized, but not unduly, the political 
aspects of the moral conquest by the Quakers, and have 
briefly carried along their relations to the various reigning 
monarchs and rulers of the time Charles the Second, 


James, William and Mary, the Georges, Queen Victoria, 
and Washington in America. Hence certain aspects of 
English political history have been related as they were 
germane to the story of Quakerism. 

The average citizen or reader has a very faint idea of 
the profound influence Quakers have had in the evolution 
of Christianity during the last two and a half centuries in 
England and America, though it is a fact that there are 
few colonial American families in New York, Philadelphia 
or Boston that have not a Quaker branch or forebear. 

The Quakers were the pioneers in 16^6 in every dominant 
reform normal men and women are fighting for in 1913. 
In the midst of one of the most profligate reigns England 
had ever seen George Fox called a halt in tones that echoed 
around the world. My fifth great grandfather, Edward 
Gove, of Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1683 headed a 
rebellion against Governor Canfield charging him with 
what is known to-day as "graft." John Fiske, the historian, 
says: "An arrogant and thieving ruler had goaded New 
Hampshire to acts of insurrection." Heading an insurrec 
tion in the name of morality and honor in 1683 was trea 
son, and Edward Gove was sentenced to death. This was 
changed to three years in the Tower of London and con 
fiscation of property. Thus the Quakers fought "graft" and 
special privilege in America in 1683. George Fox spoke in 
public for temperance in 16^0. He denounced slavery and 
all the immoralities of the time. Christopher Holder de 
manded arbitration in place of war in 1660, political and 
religious freedom, and there is not a great moral reform 
from capital punishment to the equality of women, or the 
freedom of slaves to civic righteousness, worked for to-day 


by organized forces, that the Quakers had not thought of, 
and were demanding from the housetops two hundred and 
fifty years ago. They fought and died for the simple life, 
morality and virtue. Such lives should not be forgotten, 
should be known to the people of to-day who are enjoying 
the religious liberty the early Quakers fought and died for. 

In the preparation of this work I have consulted the 
colonial records of America and all available and essential 
data in England. That relating to Christopher Holder, 
the fourth great grandfather of Mrs. Russell Sage, is here 
given for the first time in full, and was collected by tracing 
the movements of the pioneers through Massachusetts in 
1656 to 1690 by the Colonial Records. I have consulted 
most of the Friends books, papers and manuscripts in 
America and England of value in this particular connec 
tion, and I am deeply indebted to Besse, Sewell, Bowden 
and other historians of the early days. My thanks are 
due to Norman Penney, the librarian of Devonshire House, 
for many courtesies, to the librarian of the British Museum 
during my work there, and to the Boston library, rich in 
Quaker books. I am particularly indebted to Mrs. God 
frey Locker Lampson, author of the "Post Bag," by Long 
mans Green & Company, for her kind permission to copy 
a letter of William Penn and one from the Quaker botanist, 
Thomas Lawson. I am also under deep obligations to R. 
Barry O Brien, Esq., author of a life of John Bright, for 
permitting me to use the data relating to John Bright, writ 
ten especially, he tells me, for him, by Lord Eversley, who 
served under the great English Quaker in the government. 

In this volume I have used two Quakers, or in one in 
stance a descendant of notable Quakers, John Bright and 


Mrs. Russell Sage, to illustrate the profound influence of 
Quakerism in England and America, and my cordial thanks 
are due the latter for many courtesies and much important 
data relating to her Quaker ancestry. I am dedicating the 
volume to her, with her permission, as a slight indication 
of appreciation of her work in the physical, intellectual 
and moral uplift of the nation as witnessed in the develop 
ment of the Sage Foundation. I wish to express my obliga 
tions to Mr. David S. Taber, of the New York Friends 
Book and Tract Committee, for many kind attentions, and 
to the sons of the late Wm. H. S. Wood for permission to use 
his pamphlet on the Friends of New York. My thanks are 
also due to the Friends Historical Reference Library of 
London, and to the Historical Society of Philadelphia; to 
the late Albert K. Smiley of the Mohonk Conference for 
data, to Dr. Augustine Jones, to Miss Sarah Hacker of the 
Lynn Historical Society, and to Elizabeth B. Emmot of 
England. My warm thanks are due to Professor Sylvanus 
Thompson, the biographer of Lord Kelvin, and to the Hon 
orable T. Edmund Harvey, M. P. My acknowledgments 
are presented to the Friends Historical Society of Phila 
delphia for several illustrations, and to the Friends 
Tract Association of London for pictures of early 
Friends, to Headley Bros., who published them, and I 
have especially to thank the Friends Historical Society of 
London for the quaint illustrations of ancient Friends meet 
ing-houses, from the brush of Dr. Pole, appearing in the 
Journal Supplement, the text by Edmund Tolson Wed- 
more, with notes by Norman Penney. I also wish to ex 
press my great indebtedness to William A. Wing, Curator 
of the Dartmouth Museum of New Bedford, for the letter 


of Christopher Holder, his ancestor, bearing his signature, 
the only one of the kind in existence, and for valuable his 
torical pamphlets and brochures on Old Dartmouth, Peleg 
Slocum, and others. 

Pasadena, Los Angeles Co., Cal. 
January i, 1913. 



Religious and Political Conditions in England Previous to the 
Nineteenth Century 23 

Quakerism, What it is 30 

George Fox 43 

The Quakers and Cromwell 65 

The Protectorate 83 

Martyrdom Under Cromwell 110** 

Under the Restoration /T4J^ 

William Penn in England 169 

The Quakers Under James the Second and William and Mary... 196 

Queen Anne and the Georgian Period 225 

The Victorian Period 252 

The Evolution of Organization 276 

John Bright and Quaker Influence in England 286 

Mrs. Russell Sage. Illustrating Quaker Influence in America 317 

The Puritan Intolerants . . 341 


Pioneer Quakers in America 354 

The First Society in America 374 

The Martyrdom of the Quakers 405 

Mary Dyer and Her Friends 433 

The Nantucket Quakers 459 

The New York Invasion 476 

William Penn in America 496 

The Quakers in New Jersey 530 

Quakers in the South and West 539 

The Quakers in War Time 550 

Quaker Home Life in America 569 

Ways and Customs of Friends 594 

The Quaker in Literature 614 

Quaker Activities 625 


Christopher Holder s Reply to Nathaniel Morton 645 

Bibliography 658 


George Fox (Lely Portrait) Frontispiece 

George Fox 45 

Leominster Meeting House 46 

Tewkesbury Meeting House 47 

Oliver Cromwell 65 

Milton and Ellwood 66 

General Monk 140 

Louis IV 141 

William Penn 169 

William Penn 170 

Pardon of Edward Gove 203 

King Charles Second 204 

Address of Quakers 237 

Frenchay Meeting House 238 

Swarthmore 238 

Exeter Meeting House * 250 

Milverton Meeting House 250 

Cheltenham Meeting House 251 

Worcester Meeting House 251 

Isaac Braithwaite 258 

Daniel Wheeler 258 

Joseph Sturge 258 

Joseph Bevan Braithwaite 258 

Jordan s Meeting 259 

Jordan s Meeting (Interior) 259 

Elizabeth Fry 270 

Gulielma Penn 271 

John Bright 286 

William III 287 

Mrs. Russell Sage 317 

Governor Joseph Wanton 318 

Letter of Christopher Holder ..329 



Sir John Endicott 330 

Christopher Holder Tower 339 

Holder Hall 340 

Elizabeth Comstock 406 

Avis Keene 406 

Caroline Talbot 406 

Charles F. Coffin 406 

John Chase Gove 407 

Desk of Daniel Holder 466 

Page of Holder Bible 467 

Joseph John Gurney 470 

Joseph Grinnell 471 

William Rotch 475 

Stephen Grellet 476 

Joseph Bassett Holder 494 

Joseph Swain 495 

Penn s Treaty 505 

George Washington 506 

John Greenleaf Whittier 616 

Albert K. Smiley 617 

Gove Homestead 623 

Newport Meeting House 623 

Haverford College 624 

Moses Brown School 629 

New Bedford Meeting House 630 

Lynn Mass-Meeting House 630 

Philadelphia Meeting House 631 

Dr. John Fothergill 632 

Haverford College 635 

Haverford College 636 

Book I 


"Now I see there is a people risen up 
that I cannot win either with gifts, honours, 
offices or places, but all other sects and 
people I can." 






All the profound social, political, or ecclesiastical revolu 
tionary movements which have taken place during historic 
times, have been the direct outcome of some deep-seated, 
fundamental cause. New systems of government have been 
established as the result of the waning patience of the masses 
under misrule, countless religious beliefs have come into 
being on the crest of tidal waves of disaffection or disap 
pointment, and kingdoms have crumbled or risen under the 
iron hand of intolerance or the rigid justice of conscious 

The crushing of the first Reformation in the attack of the 
Crusaders on the Albigensian churches; the great Reforma 
tion and the establishment of Protestantism, are illustra 
tions, and the story of the rise of Protestantism in Great 
Britain is a fascinating and constant lure to the reader and 
lover of history. 

It is difficult to realize as one wanders through England 
with its splendid architectural monuments, that they ori 
ginated in a time marked by a low moral tone. It is not 
necessary to reach far back into history before we plunge 
into this black cloud of ignorance, intolerance and super 
stition. We see it on the horizon of the fifteenth century. 

At this time, when men worshipped in ecclesiastical 
palaces, not one penitent in a thousand understood the 
words of the priest. The devout Christian who could read 


an English translation of a psalm was the exception 
[Macaulay s estimate is one in five hundred]. Printing 
was practically unknown. Copies of the Bible were so 
rare that comparatively few priests could own one, while 
thousands of laymen had never seen the book. Such were 
the conditions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when 
the world was controlled by the few. It was an epoch of 
intellectual darkness and material splendor, broken by vag 
rant rays of light. It is a self-evident fact, we see it to our 
shame even to-day, that the masses will not, cannot, throw 
off their bondage so long as they are kept ignorant. 

The beams of light, the rays of promise that penetrated 
the gloom of the ante-Quaker time, were men of extraord 
inary intelligence who suddenly appeared on the forum 
of Christian endeavor. In the fourteenth century such a 
one was John Wycliffe, who amazed the world by arraign 
ing the Pope as anti-Christ. A man might as well have 
signed his own death warrant. But Wycliife persisted, and 
not the least of his acts was the English translation of 
the Bible. 

Reformers increased from this time on, and we see the 
Reformation during the reign of Henry VIII and the sus 
tained movement against the power of the Roman Church. 
Twenty years previous to the accession of Elizabeth, Wil 
liam Tyndale published a revised and improved Bible in 
English, and protested against the extraordinary liberties 
taken with it. After the Reformation new religious zealots 
appeared demanding that the Episcopal Church should be 
purged of the papal characteristics which were still retained, 
and they became known as Puritans. In 1559 came the 
Act of Uniformity and the establishment of the use of the 


revised prayer book. The so-called Puritans threw off all 
adherence to the established church, and despite the attempts 
of the church to prevent them, aided by the Queen and 
Parliament and the Act of Uniformity, they deserted it, 
formed a body of their own, established so-called Pres 
byters instead of Bishops, and founded Presbyterianism. 

All these vital and momentous changes were elements of 
unrest. Ignorance and superstition were slowly giving way, 
as from time to time some brilliant mind appeared to move 
the intellectual status of the time a step ahead. New 
religious parties sprang up everywhere. The Anabaptists, 
the antecedents of the Baptists and Congregationalists, 
died in many cases for their convictions, and the man who 
declared for freedom of conscience invited death, or worse. 
The divine right of kings held in these days, and unwillingly 
the numerous religious anti-state and church movements of 
the period became the initial shoots of Democracy. The 
world had been asleep for centuries, drugged by those in 
power. As the trainer of lions drugs the big cats and fear 
lessly enters the cage, so the potentates of state and church 
stupefied the masses with the lethe of ignorance, lived in 
sensuous luxury, surrounded by extraordinary magnificence, 
pomp and display, hypnotizing or convincing millions into 
the belief that they were rulers and masters to be worship 
ped by Divine authority. It is almost beyond compre 
hension that the intellectual evolution of the world was 
checked for centuries in this manner, at once absurd and 

But progress was only held in abeyance. It could not be 
stopped though desperate means were taken, and more blood 
was shed by alleged Christians in insisting upon certain 


forms of Christianity than in many of the wars of history. 
Advanced thinkers, Dissenters, as they were called, were 
persecuted, driven to Holland and other lands, and in 1620 
we see a number, including Captain Miles Standish, in 
desperation sailing for America on the ship "Mayflower." 

It is interesting to note that the avowed object of some 
of them was religious liberty, though not possibly religious 
freedom as we understand the term to-day. Yet they denied 
it to those who followed them in ensuing years. Previous 
to this, in 1603 James I. succeeded to the throne of England, 
and notable events followed. In 1611 the authorized 
version of the Bible appeared, and due to different interpre 
tations, scores of sects and bodies were born, denounced, 
hounded, persecuted, destroyed. The world was awaken 
ing. But James I. threw the weight of his influence upon 
the side of what the Liberals considered the formalism of 
the Roman Church existent in the national church of Eng 
land. He was a religious despot and failed to realize the 
smouldering fires beneath his feet. He stood for Absol 
utism in the church and state and attempted by force to 
smother the growing demands for liberty of conscience. 

Equally blind to the distinct and ominous shadows on 
the wall, Charles I., who succeeded him in 1625, became the 
standard bearer of his father s policies. Of all the Stuart 
kings Charles was the best, so far as his private life was 
concerned, but blind to the signs of the times, he practically 
signed his death warrant by hounding the advanced thinkers, 
always widening the breach between the established church 
and the Puritans and other Dissenters. George Fox was an 
infant on his accession, and in the following period, we 
see notable, impressive and significant figures appearing on 


the stage, marshaling for the tragedies of coming years. 
Sir Thomas Wentworth, later Lord Strafford, Sir John 
Elliott, Archbishop Laud, Pym, Hampden and Oliver 
Cromwell, the latter entering the Long Parliament in 1640 
when he was forty-one years of age, a friend of the future 
Quakers, compared to many other rulers of England. 

The obstinate stand of Charles I. for what he termed 
the Divine Right of Kings to determine among other things 
the religion of the people, was the menace of the first quar 
ter of the seventeenth century in Great Britain. The mar 
tial tone of the nation was low, the subject of greatest im 
portance was religion; as seemingly it was the best means 
by which the masses could be controlled and held in leash 
by a play upon their fears, ignorance and superstition. The 
King in his determination to force the religion of his church 
upon the disciples of Knox, appealed to Parliament, conven 
ing one after the other. 

This pre-Quaker period of England was the era which 
was preparing men for an existence similar to that enjoyed 
by people to-day. It was so pronounced a page in the his 
tory of the world that it can well be termed the Religious 
Renaissance of England. It was the turning of the tides, 
and Cromwell was to be the civic and military leader. No 
more interesting era can be found in English history than 
this, which has been food for philosophers and historians 
ever since, Charles I. running amuck politically, drunk with 
the preposterous idea of the Divine Right of Kings, Bishop 
Laud leading his forces as a general in the army of the 
church, Protestantism at a low ebb in Germany, the Cal- 
vinists and Lutherans of North Germany and Denmark 
losing ground daily, all discouraging features to the insur 
gents or Puritans. 


On the other hand, Sir John Elliott and John Pym were 
righting the king in Parliament, striving to make the House 
of Commons or the people the authority. The Petition of 
Right, the Star Chamber, the arrest of Elliott, his confine 
ment in the Tower, his death, Laud s labors to secure ec 
clesiastical absolutism as the puppet of the king, all stand 
out as stepping-stones in this mighty struggle to crush lib 
erty and the rights of man, and to stem the flood of intel 
lectual advancement. The English and Scotch were still 
terriried by the ghost of Catholicism which stalked across 
the moors. They had not forgotten that "bloody Queen 
Mary" had handed over the kingdom to Rome on her ac 
cession, and they clung to the doctrines of Calvin with a 
fervor that found expression when Laud attempted to intro 
duce the formalities of the English Church into Scotland. 

Following came the so-called "Bishops Wars," and al 
ways the King and his bishops preaching the same doctrine 
and forcing it upon the angered people. At the head of 
the Anglican church sat the King, a pseudo divinity in his 
own right, insisting upon the various forms inherited from 
Rome, which were so many red rags to the Dissenters. The 
King insisted upon having his consecrated bishops, who 
believed in apostolic succession, upon his priests and their 
methods, in fact, the shell of Catholicism and its varied 

All this the Dissenters denounced with growing fervor 
and ferocity. They depised the so-called idolatrous lorms 
and rites, as those of the Papists en masque* and as we have 
seen, drew their swords, and under the banner of the Inde 
pendents carried the day. 

Following the downfall of Charles and his execution the 


Presbyterians came into full power. They established so- 
called liberty of conscience, and affirmed to all men the 
right to worship God as they saw fit. If this had been 
really accomplished by these iconoclasts there would have 
been but little use for future agitators or missionaries; but 
the Dissenters lost their heads; too much power demoralized 
them, and we find them gradually, and perhaps uncon 
sciously, falling into the same errors for which they had 
beheaded Charles the First, and the same mistakes the 
Puritans made in America later on. Instead of permit 
ting full liberty of conscience they began to urge that their 
own interpretation of the Bible was the only one to be 
accepted, and then to insist upon its observance. This 
naturally resulted in a new body of Dissenters. This ex 
traordinary attitude reached a climax when Cromwell was in 
Scotland with his army. They controlled Parliament and 
enacted laws which were as unjust and unreasonable as any 
uttered by Charles the First or James. One specified that 
any one who should continue to refuse to acknowledge or 
accept any one of the eight articles of Faith, should be sent 
to the block; and if certain sixteen other specified articles 
were rejected, the heretic should be imprisoned. Not only 
this, these fanatical Dissenters conceived and perpetuated 
an act for the religious conduct of all the churches of Eng 
land and Ireland called "A Form of Church Government." 
At his very worst James or Charles hardly exceeded this. 
As a natural course, the extreme Presbyterians became so 
intolerant that the more intelligent of their own party and 
others of the Independents rose against them, and with 
Cromwell at their head, drove them from power. 


With the House of Commons controlled by the Inde 
pendents, the King defeated at Naseby in the second Civil 
War and at last executed, and the commonwealth under 
Cromwell, Great Britain seemed assured of a new era of 
political and religious liberty. A signal advance had been 
made, but the country was by no means at peace. It pos 
sessed what of all the great nations it had never had, 
a standing army, one of the most remarkable bodies of men 
that ever bore arms; an army of preachers recruited from 
the ranks of those who had been fighting against the estab 
lished Church, its dogmas, the Divine Right of Kings, and 
all that went with the elements of barbarism, ignorance 
and superstition. 

The men were soldiers armed cap-a-pie, the most effective 
army any nation had ever seen; yet each man was a re 
ligious enthusiast, a psalm-singing protagonist of the prin 
ciple of religious freedom; an expounder who did not fail 
on all occasions to present his doctrines and enforce them, 
if necessary, with the sword and pike. They were com 
manded by Oliver Cromwell, one of England s greatest 
men, who represented the intelligence and sturdy qualities 
of the parties which for years had been fighting, dying, suf 
fering martyrdom for liberty. Carlyle tells us that Crom 
well was the last of an atrocious system. He says that 
Puritanism, or the Cromwellian era, was the "last glimpse 
of the godlike vanishing from England; conviction and 


veracity giving place to hollow cant and formalism. . . . 
The last of all our Heroisms." . . . But I consider 
Cromwell the first of a new system that finds to-day its 
expression in the United States where all men are equal 
before the law. 

England had made the most stupendous step forward in 
her history. The people with a violent wrench had thrown 
off the policy of ignorance and suppression which had en 
slaved them, and the equilibrium of the nation had been 
disturbed by a heavy blow. The doctrine of the Divine 
Right of Kings had been shattered on the block of King 
Charles. The common people had asserted their rights, 
but it was evident that to sustain themselves it would be a 
life and death struggle, as the Royalists without a king, 
the old nobility without representation in the Lords, the 
Episcopalians and Romanists without votes or representa 
tion of any sort, would always be a menace on the civic and 
ecclesiastical horizon. 

The King was dead, but the Royalists were scheming for 
office. The nation at one step had become a military 
garrison. The Catholic Church and the Church of Eng 
land still existed and were conducted with certain rites 
extremely distasteful to the masses. In foreign countries 
the conduct of state affairs was a royal pageant, and the 
world appeared to be given over to sensuous enjoyment 
and display. This was particularly noticeable in 1645-7 
or about the time of the King s defeat at Naseby. The 
Cavaliers lived the lives of princes; even the priests and 
bishops upheld their offices with magnificent form, and 
luxurious living found among the nobles its maximum 


Amidst all this, out of a clear sky and with clarion note, 
came a cry of Halt! For years among the Dissenters, or 
Puritans, and seemingly countless parties, it had been no 
ticed that a number of men and women of high Jntelligence 
and generally ofgooa family, Had held extreme views on 
the conduct of affairs. These men and women found an 
exponent in the personality of one George Fox, the founder 
of Quakerism, who began to preach in public in 1647, two 
years before the execution of Charles the First. Fox has 
been termed a mystic, and the Quakers mystics. They have 
been surrounded with a fog-bank of misunderstanding by 
ignorant critics, writers and historians. But there was noth 
ing peculiar about these people except that, like Cromwell, 
they were two hundred and fifty years ahead of the age in 
which they lived. They had the temerity to attempt to 
introduce in 1647 the general ideas o morality accepted 
in 1913, and Fox pleaded for* a returnto simple and prim 
itive Christianity. 

Fox and his friends (they called themselves Friends pos 
sibly because the Bible exhorted men to love one another) 
created a sensation, as they boldly denounced the frivolities 
of the day and preached a totally diffeTeTff life ancT religion, 
which, very briefly, may be described asjan mt l]ig e JlL a1> 
tempt to follow_the_ exarnple^pf Christ as set forth in the 
New Testament; not on the Sabbath alone, but to carry 
Christian methods into their affairs, and into the conduct 
of life every day in the week. In a word, religion to them 
was not a matter of churches, pageants, sacraments, cath 
edrals, forms, titles and armed men to- enforce it, but a 
following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. 

The Friends under the leadership of George Fox were 


convinced that it was their duty to call a halt, and warn 
the whole world that it was straying from the real essence 
of the Christian religion. To say that they created a sensa 
tion but faintty describes it, but the reader will appreciate 
the situation when he or she remembers that the new in 
terpretation of Christianity announced, was practically that 
of to-day and was preached to an ignorant, licentious and 
superstitious people. 

The Quakers were considered mad men and,, fanatics of 
a dangerous type because they demanded a return to a sim 
ple conduct of life. They illustrated their point by dress 
ing simply anfr-living in a manner that would not excite 
the envy of their poorer neighbors. They announced that 
they purposed to fight for the perpetuation of their prin 
ciples, but to battle under the banner of eternal peace. 
Their sword was the blade of passive resistance; their flag 
the life example of the meek and lowly Saviour of men. 

No set of men and women filled with the enthusiasm of 
what they believed to be a God-given idea, ever met with 
such a reception outside of the Inquisition, yet these Quakers 
were ahead of their time in intelligence, moral advancement 
and civic righteousness. There is scarcely a great question 
of the nineteenth or twentieth centuries that has filled the 
public eye as a momentous reform, that was not a part of 
the alleged crimes of these patriots of the seventeenth cen 
tury, tfkev demanded arbitration two hundred and fifty 
years ago. T hey labored for the political freedom of man 
in 1647. tfhey gave their women equal rights two and a 
half centuries before women secured the right to vote in 
an American state, They denounced war as legalized mur 
der and a remnant of barbarism, and in 1648 advocated the 


methods of peace for which Andrew Carnegie and the Amer 
ican Peace Society are working to-day. 

The Quakers of the seventeenth century denounced slav 
ery and worked for its downfall two hundred and sixty 
years before Abraham Lincoln, a descendant of the Quakers, 
signed the proclamation of freedom in America. There is 
hardly a great reform to-day but was anticipated by these 
members of the Society of Friends, in derision called 
Quakers by an ignorant justice in 1650, whose sole quali 
fication for fame lies in the fact that this term of oppro 
brium (now a badge of honor) has survived the ages. 

It required a brave man to announce these views in 1647. 
It required a man with a God-given courage of his con 
victions. Such a man was George Fox. It is a singular fact 
that, while Fox was denounced, imprisoned, described as 
insane and a fanatic, his sole crime, when reduced to the 
essentials, was that he was asking the people of England 
to return to the "simple life" that is preached in all the 
churches of the civilized world in the twentieth century. 

All the criticism of the Quakers and of George Fox is 
silenced by the fact that Quakerism accomplished the reform 
intended. It awakened the nations of the world. It 
spurred and quickened the national conscience at one bound ; 
it established a philosophy based on intellectual and moral 
achievement, and became a protagonist for all that is best 
in religious life to-day. 

Before following in the footsteps of George Fox and 
noting the evolution of his idea and its effect upon the 
world, it is necessary to glance at the doctrine he taught, 
which caused so marked a sensation in England and aroused 
an animosity which found expression in a martyrdom 
hardly creditable. 


If mysticism is, as James Freeman Clark says, "the belief 
that man can come into union with the Infinite by means 
of a wholly passive surrender to divine influence," then 
George Fox was an English mystic. Emerson says in one 
of his essays: "I desire and look up and put myself in the 
attitude of reception." 

I recall my youth in a notable New England Friends 
community established by Christopher Holder in 1656-7. 
The impression I obtained was that other sects depended 
upon the church and its forms, upon ministers who were 
paid to perform their duties, and that men had much to do 
with dictating what was right or wrong by the appointment 
of judges, etc. But the Friends apparently did not require 
outside instruction. As a child I often attended meetings 
where a congregation of two or three hundred sat silent an 
hour and a half and were supposed to think, a season of 
self analysis. It was believed that rational intelligent 
beings were susceptible to the influence of God or religion, 
and if they held their passions in check, if they avoided vice, 
if they followed closely the Commandments and the advice 
of Christ as to their conduct of life, they would receive 
wisdom from God as an "inward light." 

We read much of this light. Books and pamphlets have 
been written on it; hundreds of men and women have 
expounded it, and the result has been that the very simple 
religious belief of the Quakers has often been lost in a sea 
of conjecture and mysticism, so far as aliens are concerned. 

As I remember the religion of the Quakers in the nine 
teenth century it was the "simple life," the example of 
Christ. In plain words, the followers of Fox made a 
strenuous attempt to plan their lives on the doctrines of 


the New Testament. They endeavored to live like Christ 
ians every hour, and to see that their fellows did the same. 

This, unquestionably, was the Quaker doctrine of Fox 
divested of the incredible assemblage of words and sentences 
that apparently was necessary in expounding in the seven 
teenth century whether the preacher was Quaker or Puritan, 
Presbyterian or Baptist. This was Joseph John Gurney s 
interpretation. He says: "I should not describe it (Quak 
erism) as the system so elaborately wrought out by Barclay; 
the doctrines or maxims of Penn, or the deep refined views 
of Pennington. I should call it the religion of the New 
Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ without diminution, 
without addition and without compromise." 

All the works ever written on Quakerism, in my estima 
tion, do not present a better or more concise definition of 
the life work and central idea of George Fox than this. 

The Quakers made no parade of religion. "The inner 
light" was the Conscience quickened by spiritual communion, 
which elevated thoughts, aims and desires, self analysis 
and the elimination of the impure. In other words, the 
Friends thought good, and received, as any man or woman 
can who has the intelligence to discern the difference be 
tween good and evil, "the peace which passeth all under 

I am particularly desirous to present the essentials of 
Quaker doctrine without the confusion and ambiguity that 
has surrounded it, and which has often made it unintelligi 
ble. The unthinking public is inclined to grasp at "taking 
terms," "the inner light," "the moving of the spirit" and 
"quaking," totally misconstruing the real conception and 
embroiling the simple meaning in worse than confusion. 


The Quaker believed that God was omnipresent and that 
He revealed himself to every man through the light of 
Christ in the heart." When they speak of light (and it is 
a favorite word,) they mean the spiritual light, the awaken 
ing, intellectually and spiritually, that every man has dur 
ing the contemplation of the Infinite. It was a mental and 
spiritual illumination which quickened the senses and made 
men and women better. When they sat in their silent meet 
ings thinking of the goodness of the Creator, endeavoring 
perhaps to purge their hearts of sin, or thoughts of evil, the 
voice of God, "the light within" seemed to speak to them 
and they were inspired to speak or to preach. Many phil 
osophers have devoted books and time to the interpretation 
of this "inner light" of the early Quakers, but it finds its 
analogue in the conscience of good men and pure women 
responding to an effectual attempt at right living, right 

The Japanese have a most effective and amusing method 
of teaching moral precepts. It consists of a group of three 
monkeys. One holds his hand over his eyes; another to his 
mouth; another stops his ears. The explanation is: see no 
evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. This ivory or bronze trin 
ity should be in every home. The old Quakers endeavored 
to see no evil, to speak no evil, and to hear no evil, and they 
were aided in this consummation by the "inner light" of a 
clear conscience. The pith of the Quaker doctrine was the 
saving power of the inner light, which was the example of 
Christ, and which was sure to illumine those who followed 
His footsteps. There was nothing obscure about it. It was 
the simple life of the Savior to be followed. If a man was 
good, God dwelt in him. Fox frequently said : "To that of 


God in you I speak." "I direct men to the light of Christ 
in their hearts." 

It is easy to recognize the beauty, the charm, indeed the 
fascination this idea of an inner light had for the followers 
of George Fox. They believed, yes, knew, that they were 
in touch with the Giver of all things, and that the light 
which illumined their souls was the word of the living God. 
It is little wonder that George Fox was exalted and his con 
verts went into the highways and entered churches to carry 
the message to the world, or that they went to their death 
smiling at their murderers, or lay in jail, returning when 
discharged again and yet again to the non-resistant warfare. 
A finer religious conception never took possession of man, 
and his mission was to make it real and actual, a daily, 
hourly thing to all nations and to all men. Something in 
conceivably precious to them was their message that God 
spoke not to the saints, ministers, priests, the apostles alone, 
but to the soul of every man, woman or child willing to 
listen. This was the light that never failed, never grew dim 
in the heart of Friends. 

The Quaker ministers, it is said, waited in the meetings 
until the "spirit moved." The facts are, they were not paid 
ministers; they were not supposed to prepare their sermons 
in advance, but went to the meeting in a state of receptive 
mentality. They sat in the silence of the meeting until they 
felt that they had something to say, then rose and said it, 
whether it was the quotation of a Biblical verse, or a sermon, 
or prayer. 

"And so I find it well to come 
For deeper rest to this still room, 
For here the habit of the soul 


Feels less the outer world control; 

The strength of mutual purpose pleads 

More earnestly our common needs; 

And from the silence multiplied 

By these still forms on either side, 

The world that time and sense have known 

Falls off and leaves us God alone. 

So to the calmly gathered thought 

The innermost of truth is taught, 

The mystery, dimly understood, 

That love of God is love of good; 

That Book and Church and Day are given 

For man, not God, for earth not heaven; 

The blessed means to holiest ends, 

Not masters, but benignant friends; 

That the dear Christ dwells not afar, 

The King of some remoter star, 

Listening, at times, with flattered ear 

To homage wrung from selfish fear, 

But here, amidst the poor and blind, 

The bound and suffering of our kind ; 

In works we do, in prayers we pray, 

Life of our life, he lives today." 


The varied interpretations of the Bible have resulted in 
hundreds of sects and religions. Some believe in immersion, 
some in sprinkling. To the Catholic church, form, vestment 
is essential to catch and impress the eye with the splendor 
of the religion it represents. So we find George Fox as 
tonishing the seventeenth century with his interpretation of 
the Bible, at once startling and revolutionary. What the 
church of England and of Rome took literally he conceived 
in a spiritual sense, and briefly, the dearth of every possible 
form in the Quaker meeting. The lack of baptismal fonts, 


the bread and wine of communion and other features signi 
fies that the Quakers interpreted these things as meant in a 
spiritual sense. They read the life of Christ, studied the 
New and Old Testaments diligently, accepted Christ as sent 
to redeem the world and copied his methods as nearly as 
they could. 

The first Declaration of Faith by Quakers was drawn up 
by Christopher Holder, believed to be the ancestor of the 
New England Holders. It was written in Boston jail in 
1657 and signed by Holder and his fellow prisoners John 
Copeland and Richard Doudney. 


"A Declaration of Faith, and an exhortation to Obedi 
ence thereto, issued by Christopher Holder, John Copeland 
and Richard Doudney, while in Prison at Boston in New 
England, 1657. 

"Whereas, it is reported by them that have not a bridle 
to their tongues, that we, who are by the world called 
Quakers, are blasphemers, heretics and deceivers; and that 
we do deny the Scriptures, and the truth therein contained; 
therefore, we, who are here in prison, shall in a few words, 
in truth and plainness, declare unto all people that may see 
this, the ground of our religion, and the faith that we con 
tend for, and the cause wherefore we suffer. 

"Therefore, when you read our words, let the meek spirit 
bear rule and weigh them in the equal balance, and stand 
out of prejudice, in the light that judgeth all things, and 
measureth and manifesteth all things. 

"As (for us) we do believe in the only true and living God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath made the 


heavens and the earth, the sea and all things in them con 
tained, and doth uphold all things that he hath created by 
the word of his power. Who, at sundry times, and in divers 
manners, spake in times past to our fathers, by the prophets, 
but in these last days he hath spoken unto us, by his Son, 
whom he hath made heir of all things, by whom he made 
the world. The which Son is that Jesus Christ that was 
born of the Virgin; who suffered for our offenses, and is 
risen again for our justification, and is ascended into the 
highest heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of God the 
Father. Even in him do we believe, who is the only begotten 
Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. And in him do 
we trust alone for salvation ; by whose blood we are washed 
from sin; through whom we have access to the Father with 
boldness, being justified by faith in believing in his name. 
Who hath sent forth the Holy Ghost, to wit, the Spirit of 
Truth, that proceedeth from the Father and the Son; by 
which we are sealed and adopted sons and heirs of the king 
dom of heaven. From the which Spirit the Scriptures of 
truth were given forth, as, saith the Apostle Peter, Holy 
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 
The which were written for our admonition on whom the 
ends of the world are come; and are profitable for the man 
of God, to reprove, and to exhort, and to admonish, as the 
Spirit of God bringeth them unto him, and openeth them in 
him, and giveth him the understanding of them. 

"So that before all (men) we do declare that we do be 
lieve in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according as 
they are (declared of in the) Scriptures; and the Scriptures 
we own to be a true declaration of the Father, Son, and 
Spirit; in (which) is declared what was in the beginning, 
what was present, and was to come. 


"Therefore, all (ye) people in whom honesty is, stand 
still and consider. Believe not them that say, Report, and 
we will report it that say, Come, let us smite them with the 
tongue; but try all things and hold fast that which is good. 
Again we say, take heed of believing and giving credit to 
reports; for know that the truth was spoken against, and 
they that lived in it were, in all ages of the world, hated, 
persecuted and imprisoned, under the names of heretics, blas 
phemers, and" 

Here part of the paper is torn off, and it can only be 
known, by an unintelligible shred, that fourteen lines are 
lost. We read again as follows: 

"That showeth you the secrets of your hearts, and the 
deeds that are not good. Therefore, while you have light, be 
lieve in the light, that ye may be children of the light; for, 
as you love it and obey it, it will lead you to repentance, 
bring you to know Him in whom is remission of sins, in 
whom God is well pleased; who will give you an entrance 
into the kingdom of God, an inheritance amongst them that 
are sanctified. For this is the desire of our souls for all that 
have the least breathings after God, that they may come to 
know Him in deed and in truth, and find His power in and 
with them, to keep them from falling, and to present them 
faultless before the throne of his glory; who is the strength 
and life of all them that put their trust in Him ; who uphold- 
eth all things by the word of his power; who is God over all, 
blessed forever, Amen. 

"Thus we remain friends to all that fear the Lord; who 
are sufferers, not for evil doing, but for bearing testimony to 
the truth, in obedience to the Lord God of life; unto whom 
we commit our cause ; who is risen to plead the cause of the 


innocent, and to help him that hath no help on the earth; 
who will be avenged on all his enemies, and will repay the 

proud doers. 

"Christopher Holder, 
"John Copeland, 
"Richard Doudney, 
"From the House of Correction the 1st of the Eight 

Month, 1657, in Boston." 

This Declaration was written under the stress of terrible 
suffering and martyrdom, the prisoners being beaten, and 
Holder having an ear cut off. The Declaration was doubt 
less issued in answer to some charge that the missionaries 
were Roman Catholics, Idolaters or worse. 



Every century in historic times has been marked by the 
appearance of some striking personality, who has stood alone 
as the protagonist of a dominant principle. It may have 
been some profound genius in the arts, in music, sculpture, 
philanthropy, finance, war, peace, religion or philosophy. 
Names readily suggest themselves: Hillel, Confucius, 
Caesar, Cicero, Napoleon, Calvin, Luther, Savonarola, Saint 
Augustine, Mozart, Cromwell, Darwin, Huxley, Washing 
ton, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Carnegie. 

In the seventeenth century George Fox was such a figure ; 
a religious enthusiast, the leader who rebuked the frivolities 
of the world; who endeavored to arrest its decadence, and 
who incidentally founded the Society of Friends, better 
known as Quakers. It is interesting to note the various esti 
mates of his intellectual status. James Freeman Clark, an 
American historian, says: "Fox, judged by his writings, was 
a man of poor intellect; narrow, meagre, without the least 
touch of fancy or imagination. It was by the depth and con 
centration of his mind, not by any mental affluence, that 
he accomplished so much." 

Bancroft considers that George Fox produced a philos 
ophy of the highest standard, ranking it with the doctrines 
of Plato and Descartes whose intellectual status will scarcely 
be questioned. Bancroft compared the ideas of the Quaker 
with those in the "profound eloquence of Rousseau," "the 


LcdDiinxtcr (Upper) 
Tewkesbnrg (1823) 


From the Chinn Painting 


masculine philosophy of Kant," and "the poetry of Schiller, 
Coleridge, Lamartine and Wordsworth;" hence he saw both 
fancy and imagination in the religious philosophy of the 
great Quaker. There is scarcely a foul epithet known in the 
language that was not applied to George Fox by his enemies 
and those who feared him. Many cheerful critics in 1650, 
and from then until 1690, consoled themselves with the 
thought that he was an idiot; yet not harmless, and to be 
crushed, as he had an extraordinary following recruited 
from the ranks of England s best citizens. 

William Penn, the son of Sir Admiral William Penn, was 
a notable illustration. William Penn s impression of George 
Fox is interesting. He says: 

"I write by knowledge and not report, and my witness is 
true, having been with him for weeks and months together. . 
and that by night and by day, by sea and by land, in this and 
foreign countries; and I can say I never saw him out of his 
place, or not a match for every occasion. 

"He was of an innocent life, no busy-body, nor self-seeker, 
neither touchy nor critical. So meek, contented, modest, 
easy, steady, tender, it was a pleasure to be in his company. 
A most merciful man, as ready to forgive as unapt to take or 
give offense. 

"He had an extraordinary gift in opening the Scriptures. 
But above all he excelled in prayer the most reverent frame 
I ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his in prayer and 
truly it was a testimony, he knew and lived nearer to the 
Lord than other men; for they that know Him most will see 
most reason to approach Him with reverence and fear." 

"In all things," Penn adds, "he acquitted himself like a 
man, yea, a strong man, a new and heavenly-minded man. 


A divine, and a Naturalist, and all of God Almighty s 

Among Friends Thomas Ellwood was one of the most ad 
vanced and intellectual of the early converts ; a man of high 
culture and a good judge of men. He has left us his im 
pression of George Fox in the following: 

"I knew him not till the year 1660 : from that time to the 
time of his death, I knew him well, conversed with him 
often, observed him much, loved him dearly, and honoured 
him truly ; and upon good experience can say, he was indeed 
an heavenly-minded man, zealous for the name of the Lord, 
and preferred the honour of God before all things. 

"He was valiant for the truth, bold in asserting it, patient 
in suffering for it, unwearied in labouring in it, steady in his 
testimony to it, immovable as a rock. Deep he was in di 
vine knowledge, clear in opening heavenly mysteries, plain 
and powerful in preaching, fervent in prayer. He was 
richly endowed with heavenly wisdom, quick in discerning, 
sound in judgment, able and ready in giving, discreet in 
keeping counsel, a lover of righteousness, an encourager of 
virtue, justice, temperance, meekness, purity, chastity, 
modesty, humility, charity and self-denial in all, both by 
word and example. Graceful he was in countenance, manly 
in personage, grave in gesture, courteous in conversation, 
weighty in communication, instructive in discourse, free from 
affectation in speech and carriage. A severe reprover of hard 
and obstinate sinners, a mild and gentle admonisher of such 
as were tender, and sensible of their failings; not apt to 
resent personal wrongs; easy to forgive injuries; but zealous, 
earnest where the honour of God, the prosperity of truth, the 
peace of the church were concerned. Very tender, com- 


passionate, and pitiful he was to all that were under any 
sort of affliction ; full of brotherly love, full of fatherly care, 
for indeed the care of the churches of Christ was daily upon 
him, the prosperity and peace whereof he studiously sought. 
Beloved he was of God, beloved of God s people; and 
(which was not the least part of his honour) the common 
butt of all apostates envy, whose good notwithstanding he 
earnestly sought." 

Cromwell, unconsciously perhaps, paid a signal tribute to 
George Fox when he said, "Now I see there is a people 
risen that I cannot win with gifts, honours, offices or places; 
but all other sects and people I can." I might stop here and 
let these lines stand as the best definition of the results of 
Quakerism ever penned. They describe the Quakers in 
1647; they describe them to-day in every land. 

In appearance George Fox was a fine specimen of vigorous 
manhood. He was tall, athletic, with clean-cut features 
and eyes so brilliant and searching that more than once they 
brought out protests from those who could not withstand his 
"piercing gaze." George Fox had what is known to-day as 
personal magnetism, so seemingly essential to most public 
speakers. Elaine possessed it, Napoleon, Patrick Henry, 
Ingersoll and most of the great and successful leaders of all 
times. Not only this, George Fox had, to an extraordinary 
degree, the power of impressing his auditors, swaying them 
by his words, gestures, intonation or meaning. He filled 
them with religious enthusiasm, raised them to a high pin 
nacle of religious ecstasy or at will cast them into the abys 
mal deeps of mental distress. 

The secret of his wonderful power was his familiarity with 
the Bible. When called on suddenly by troopers, when 


preaching against war, he had all the Biblical authorities at 
his tongue s end. When sixty priests challenged him on dis 
puted points he dumfounded them with the readiness of his 
replies, and judge, soldier, layman, priest, he met in the same 
way, crushing them by the unanswerable quality of his quo 
tations. Not only this, he had an extraordinary faculty for 
presenting his facts and theories as telling, convincing and 
unanswerable arguments. He did not indulge in sophistry, 
but dealt out his warnings in heavy body blows which laid 
low the ignorant and captivated the sense of justice of the 
best educated men in England as well. 

It must not be assumed that George Fox was merely a 
seventeenth century revivalist, as he scorned the mannerisms 
of the professional preacher. He believed that God had given 
him a message to the world, and it was his purpose to 
deliver it to the death. He was in no sense a protagonist 
of a new religion or sect. In all probability, he had no idea 
at first of creating a new and distinct cult. His sole object 
was to call the attention of all the world to the fact that their 
excesses, their rites, their wars, their killings, their sensuous 
pageants and splendors of living, their assumption of Divine 
rights to rule were fundamentally wrong. It is true that he 
became the founder of the Quakers, but it was an unforeseen 
result and he left this and the moulding of the philosophy 
and its formulation to other hands: Barclay of the 
"Apology," Penn, and others. He delivered the message, 
they took it up and prepared it for perpetuation down the 
long reaches of the ages. 

George Fox came by his profound religious nature by in 
heritance. His father, Christopher Fox, of Dray ton in Clay, 


England, was intensely religious in a sane way, and George 
Fox tells us that his mother, of the family of Lagos, came 
from a stock of martyrs. All this left its impression on the 
son, who was born in the decade of Shakespeare s death, 
1616, or 1624, the time of Bacon. There were few prom 
inent men of the time who did not know him or had not 
received his advice or admonitions, which were addressed 
either in person or in writing, to every prominent ruler, 
from the Pope to Cromwell or the kings of France, and 
other countries. 

At a very early age he attracted attention for his sedate- 
ness and dignity. In his Journal he says: "I knew purity 
and righteousness because I was taught how to walk so as to 
be kept pure." The child was born to his special mission. 
He was a religious enthusiast as truly as some children are 
born musicians, mathematicians or great artists. He had the 
faculty of concentration to a remarkable degree; he never 
lost sight of the main issue. This peculiarity is noticed in 
his Journal, "he hews to the line," and little outside of his 
religious experiences is found in this extraordinary work 
though he lived in one of the most interesting and tumult 
uous periods in English history. Freeman Clark refers to 
this and sees in it a reflection upon his intelligence. He says : 

"He saw, or might have seen the rise, triumph, defeat, and 
reappearance of British Constitutional Liberty; the tyranni 
cal acts of Charles I.; the resistance of Hampden; the Eng 
lish Revolution; the battles of Marston Moor and Naseby; 
the Long Parliament ; the protectorates of Cromwell and his 
son; the Restoration of Charles II.; the reign of James II.; 
and the Revolution of 1688. All occurred under his eyes, 


and he does not seem to have noticed any of them.* He was a 
contemporary of Milton, Jeremy Taylor, Tillotson, Locke, 
Newton, Leibnitz, but you would never know from his writ 
ings that such men had existed. With their work he had 
nothing to do, but his own work he did nobly. In an age of 
speculative religion, of opinion and profession, he taught the 
need of a profound personal acquaintance with God as the 
all in all. He taught that all can have this light, that it comes 
to all, and can be seen by all if they do not suffer their atten 
tion to be distracted by outward things. From this simple 
idea of the inward light he deduced all the other doctrines 
which Barclay and Penn afterward elaborated into the com 
plete system of Quakerism. It is noticeable in reading the 
life of Fox that so lofty a system has originated in so small 
a mind." 

This critical historian misses the point that Fox was not 
keeping an historic diary, nor was he a Pepys ; he was relating 
solely his own religious experience and that of the Friends. 
No one was better aware what was going on in politics, 
literature and government than George Fox. There was 
hardly a jail that he did not test. He and his friends 
were constantly before the king, Cromwell and the author 
ities, and it was entirely due to his wide range, as well as 
his concentration, that he won the battle for liberty of con 
science with the sole weapon of passive resistance. "The 
Lord taught me," says Fox, "to be faithful in all things and 
to act faithfully in two ways: viz., inwardly to God, and 

*The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, M. A., says: "He who desires to 
understand the real history of the English people during the seven 
teenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries should read most carefully 
three books: George Fox s Journal, John Wesley s Journal, and J. H. 
Newman s Apologia." 


outwardly to man, and to keep yea and nay in all things." 
The boy was originally intended for the priesthood, but 
he was eventually placed with a business man, a dealer in 
shoes, cattle and wool, and Fox became an expert in hand 
ling the latter. During all this time he had a strong pre 
dilection for religion and reforms, and after his first ex 
perience with some friends who were drinking and toasting 
one another, he was led to think more seriously on these 

At this early period a temperance advocate would have 
been considered a curiosity and an anomaly, yet we find Fox 
started this campaign of prohibition in 1643 when but nine 
teen years of age. About this time he became much 
troubled as to religious matters and the evils of the day, and 
hoping to understand them he began to question ministers 
and to travel about the country in a very distressed frame 
of mind. Religion was now the subject of violent discussion 
and dispute. Traveling over England George Fox listened 
to all sides and to all people and was often in despair. He 
went to London and visited an uncle, a Baptist; then, re 
turning, he wandered about the country, talking to priests, 
ministers, laymen and laywomen, but finding no peace or 
spiritual comfort. After consulting a priest named Tam- 
worth, he writes that he found him a "hollow cask;" not 
exactly complimentary, but characteristic of the quaint 
phraseology of the time. 

The "inner light" came to him early in his career, as he 
writes: "At another time it was opened to me that God 
who made the world did not dwell in temples made with 
hands." He was constantly engaged in self examination, 
turning over and over in his mind the questions of virtue, 


right and wrong, and receiving, as he firmly believed, direct 
answers from God through the "inner light," which he 
recognized later on. 

To appreciate the mental trials and tribulations of George 
Fox at this early period, one must follow his movements 
closely. The war was in progress; the king had been de 
feated at Naseby; Presbyterianism had been established as 
a militant power or sect, and Fox was wandering about the 
country; now being urged to enter the army, but ever grop 
ing in the dark, seeking to satisfy a gnawing conscience. 
One day in his travels he reached a Baptist meeting at 
Broughton in Leicestershire, and here doubtless spoke in 
meeting for the first time. He says : "A report went abroad 
of me that I was a young man who had a discerning spirit; 
whereupon many came to me from far and near, professors, 
priests and people. The Lord s power broke forth, and I 
had great openings and prophecies, and spoke unto them of 
the things of God, which they heard with attention and 
silence, and went away and spread the fame thereof. Then 
came the tempter and set upon me again, charging me, that 
I had sinned against the Holy Ghost; but I could not tell 
in what. Then Paul s condition came before me, how, after 
he had been taken up into the third heavens, and seen things 
not lawful to be uttered, a messenger of Satan was sent to 
buffet him. Thus by the power of Christ I got over that 
temptation also." 

With growing spiritual courage he now passed through 
England, praying, preaching and raising his voice in rebuke 
against the many vanities of the world and the degeneracy 
of the times. Arriving at the town of Mansfield he began 
what was perhaps the first attempt of labor reform, of the 


nineteenth century sort, England had ever experienced. He 
approached the justices in court and urged them to see that 
laborers, men and women, were not oppressed, particularly 
in the matter of wages. Then he exhorted laborers and 
servants to do their full duties to their masters. At this 
time Fox had undoubtedly a supersensitive conscience. He 
recognized with remarkable intuition for the time the fact 
that evils were being committed. He felt a strong compelling 
conscientious desire not only to point them out, but the way 
to overcome them, the spiritual remedy. 

This urging of the conscience, this impelling moral force 
he considered the direct word of God speaking in his heart 
and soul, and so convinced was he that this was real and 
true that he never disobeyed it. He was now in a state of 
great religious enthusiasm and exaltation, and he began to 
have many followers. His arguments were appealing and 
convincing to many. Thus he says, "I travelled in the Lord s 
service as he led me." In the Vale of Beavor he observed 
that lawyers, doctors and priests were open to criticism, so 
he began to show them how to conduct their professions 
"satisfactory to the Lord." As day after day went by he 
took up other evils with a remarkable prescience for reforma 
tive measures. He says : 

"About this time I was sorely exercised in going to their 
courts to cry for justice, in speaking and writing to judges 
and justices to do justly; in warning such as kept publick 
houses for entertainment, that they should not let people 
have more drink than would do them good; in testifying 
against wakes, feasts, may-games, sports, plays, and shows, 
which trained up people to vanity and looseness, and led 
them from the fear of God; and the days set forth for holi- 


days were usually the times wherein they most dishonoured 
God by these things. In fairs also, and in markets, I was 
made to declare against their deceitful merchandise, cheat 
ing and cozening; warning all to deal justly, to speak the 
truth, to let their yea be yea, and their nay be nay, and to do 
unto others as they would have others do unto them; fore 
warning them of the great and terrible day of the Lord, 
which would come upon them all. I was moved also to cry 
against all sorts of musick, and against the mountebanks 
playing tricks on their stages; for they burthened the pure 
life, and stirred up people s minds to vanity. I was much ex 
ercised too with school-masters and school-mistresses, warn 
ing them to teach children sobriety in the fear of the Lord, 
that they might not be nursed and trained up to lightness, 
vanity, and wantonness. I was made to warn masters and 
mistresses, fathers and mothers in private families, to take 
care that their children and servants might be trained up in 
the fear of the Lord, and that themselves should be therein 
examples and patterns of sobriety and virtue to them." 
The civil war of 1648 was raging, and Fox was preaching 
peace in the highways. Cromwell, a militant preacher and 
reformer, was leading the Roundheads to battle under the 
banner of religious reform. Fox now began to attract large 
crowds, and as though to accumulate trouble, he refused to 
remove his hat, which offended many. He was thrown into 
jail at Nottingham for speaking in a church, but he con 
verted the sheriff, John Reckless, who turned his home into 
a meeting-house, to the amazement of the populace and the 
rage of the church authorities. 

During this period in England a prisoner in jail had little 
attention paid to him, physically or morally, and George 


Fox became the pioneer prison reformer. He entered jails, 
when he was not cast into them, to plead with, and preach 
to, the prisoners, as Elizabeth Fry did after him, and the 
authorities often thought he was mad. He preached in the 
Coventry prison; was stoned out of the market of Bosworth 
for preaching in the chapel, and later was arrested at Derby 
and sentenced to the House of Correction for six months as 
a blasphemer. The mittimus, one of the first public docu 
ments relating to Friends in England, was as follows : 

"To the master of the house of correction in Derby, 

"We have sent you herewithal the bodies of George Fox, 
late of Mansfield, in the county of Nottingham, and John 
Fretwell, late of Staniesby, in the county of Derby, hus 
bandman, brought before us this present day, and charged 
with avowed uttering and broaching of divers blasphemous 
opinions, contrary to a late act of parliament; which, upon 
their examination before us, they have confessed. These 
are therefore to require you forthwith, upon sight thereof, 
to receive them the said George Fox and John Fretwell into 
your custody, and them therein safely to keep during the 
space of six months, without bail or main-prize, or until they 
shall find sufficient security to be of the good behaviour, or 
be thence delivered by order from ourselves. Hereof you 
are not to fail. Given under our hands and seals this 3oth 
day of October 1650. 

"Ger. Bennet, 
"Nath. Barton." 

Among the incisive blows struck at the Quakers was the 
government act declaring their marriages illegal. The 
Friends entertained the belief that marriage was an ordi- 


nance of God ; that the intervention of a clergyman was not 
necessary. The bride and groom stood up in the meeting in 
the presence of the audience and declared their intention of 
taking each other as husband and wife. They then signed 
the wedding certificate, which was in turn signed by the 
audience. Hence, instead of one or two witnesses, there were 
often fifty, one hundred or more. The Quakers made every 
attempt to have this law changed, and in 1661 Judge Archer 
declared in favor of the legality of such marriages, which 
came as a just relief, as the question of legitimacy of chil 
dren, questions of property, were being raised by their 

One of the remarkable characteristics of George Fox was 
his perfect familiarity with the Bible and his ability to call 
up any verse or authority. This was well shown when he 
was questioned and criticised by Lady Fairfax, Dr. Crad- 
dock and several priests, one of whom said, "You marry, but 
I know not how." Fox, who did not pose as an expert in the 
field of literary endeavor, being merely a systematist in his 
collection of correct references, replied, "It may be so: but 
why dost thou not come and see 4 ?" He asked him also, 
"Where do you read, from Genesis to Revelations, that 
ever any priest did marry any 1 ?" Fox said, "I wished him 
to shew me some instance thereof, if he would have us come 
to them to be married; for, said I, Thou hast excommuni 
cated one of my friends two years after he was dead, abojut 
his marriage. And why dost thou not excommunicate IsaaV, 
and Jacob, and Boaz, and Ruth"? For we do not read that 
they were ever married by the priests; but they "took one 
another in the assemblies of the righteous, in the presence of 
God and His people;" and so do we. So that we have all 


the holy men and women that the Scriptures speak of in 
this practice, on our side. Much discourse we had; but 
when he found he could get no advantage on me, he went 
away with his company." 

Marriage is again referred to by Fox. He says : 

"From hence I went to Whitby: and, having visited 
friends there, passed to Burlington, where I had another 
meeting. From thence to Oram, where I had another meet 
ing; and thence to Marmaduke Storr s, and had a large meet 
ing at a constable s house, on whom the Lord had wrought 
a great miracle. 

"Next day two friends being to take each other in 
marriage, there was a very great meeting, which I attended. 
I was moved to open the state of our marriages, declaring, 
How the people of God took one another in the assemblies 
of the elders; and that it was God who joined man and 
woman together before the fall. And though men had taken 
upon them to join in the fall, yet in the restoration it is 
God s joining that is the right and honourable marriage; but 
never any priest did marry any, that we read of in the 
scriptures, from Genesis to Revelations. Then I shewed 
them the duty of man and wife, how they should serve God, 
being heirs of life and grace together." 

Again, when establishing a monthly meeting in Wiltshire, 
he said : 

"After we had visited friends in the city, I was moved to 
exhort them to bring all their marriages to the men s and 
women s meetings, that they might lay them before the faith 
ful ; that care might be taken to prevent such disorders as had 
been committed by some. For many had gone together in 
marriage contrary to their relation s minds; and some young, 


raw people, that came among us, had mixed with the world. 
Widows had married without making provision for their 
children by their former husbands, before their second mar 
riage. Yet I had given forth a paper concerning marriages 
about the year 1653, when truth was but little spread, ad 
vising friends, who might be concerned in that case, That 
they might lay it before the faithful in time, before any 
thing was concluded; and afterwards publish it in the end 
of a meeting, or in a market, as they were moved thereto. 
And when all things were found clear, being free from all 
others, and their relations satisfied, they might appoint a 
meeting on purpose for the taking of each other ; in the pres 
ence of at least twelve faithful witnesses. Yet these 
directions not being observed, and truth being now more 
spread over the nation, it was ordered by the same power 
and Spirit of God, That marriages should be laid before 
the men s monthly and quarterly meetings, or as the meet 
ings were then established; that friends might see, that the 
relations of those who proceeded to marriage were satisfied ; 
that the parties were clear from all others; and that widows 
had made provision for their first husband s children, before 
they married again; and what else was needful to be inquired 
into; that all things might be kept clean and pure, and be 
done in righteousness to the glory of God. Afterwards it 
was ordered in the wisdom of God, That if either of the 
parties intending to marry came out of another nation, 
county, or monthty meeting, they should bring a certificate 
from the monthly meeting before which they came to lay 
their intentions of marriage. 

To friends in Barbadoes he said : 

"Because I was not well able to travel, the friends of the 


island concluded to have their men s and women s meeting 
for the service of the church at Thomas Rous s, where I lay; 
by which means I was present at each of their meetings, and 
had very good service for the Lord in both. For they had 
need of information in many things, divers disorders being 
crept in for want of care and watchfulness. I exhorted them, 
more especially at the men s meeting, to be careful with 
respect to marriages, to prevent friends marrying in near 
kindreds, and also to prevent over-hasty proceedings towards 
second marriages after the death of a former husband or 
wife; advising that a decent regard be had in such cases to 
the memory of the deceased husband or wife. As to friends 
children marrying too young, at thirteen or fourteen years 
of age, I showed the unfitness thereof, and the inconveniences 
and hurts that attend such childish marriages. I admonished 
them to purge the floor thoroughly, to sweep their houses 
very clean, that nothing might remain that would defile ; and 
that all should take care, that nothing be spoken out of their 
meetings to the blemishing or defaming one of another. Con 
cerning registering of marriages, births, and burials, I ad 
vised them to keep exact records of each in distinct books for 
that only use; and also to record in a book for that purpose, 
the condemnations of such as went out from truth into dis 
orderly practices, and the repentance and restoration of such 
as returned again. I recommended to their care the provid 
ing of convenient bury ing-places for friends, which in some 
parts were yet wanting. Some directions also I gave them 
concerning wills, and the ordering of legacies left by friends 
for publick uses, and other things relating to the affairs of the 

The care which Friends took to supervise the marriages of 


the young is well illustrated in the conversation between 
George Fox and Wilbert Frouzen, a burgomaster of 
Rotterdam : 

"Hearing I was there (he) invited me to his country- 
house, having a desire to speak to me about some business 
relating to Aarent Sunneman s daughters. I took George 
Watts with me, and a brother of Aarent Sunneman had us 
thither. The burgomaster received us very kindly, was glad 
to see me, and entering into discourse about his kinsman s 
daughters, I found that he was apprehensive, that, their 
father being dead, and having left them considerable por 
tions, they might be stolen, and married to their disad 
vantage. Wherefore, I told him, It was our principle and 
practice, that none should marry amongst us, unless they had 
a certificate of the consent of their relations or guardians; for 
it was our Christian care to watch over and look after all 
young people that came among us, especially those whose re 
lations were dead. And as for his kinsman s daughters, we 
should take care that nothing should be offered to them but 
what should be agreeable to truth and righteousness, and 
that they might be preserved in the fear of God, according 
to their fathers mind. This seemed to give him great satis 
faction. While I was with him, there came many great 
people to me; and I exhorted them all to keep in the fear 
of God, and to mind His good Spirit in them, to keep their 
minds to the Lord. After I had staid two or three hours, 
and discoursed with them of several things, I took my leave, 
and he very kindly sent me to Rotterdam in his chariot." 

It has been said that George Fox was totally devoid of 
humor. Among other things he preached against the vanity 
of the world as expressed by attire, and his peculiar sarcasm, 


not without humor, is well shown in the following, which he 
was called upon to pen after contemplation of some of the 
fashions of the day : 

"What a world is this ! How doth the Devil garnish him 
self ! How obedient are people to do His will and mind. 
They are altogether carried away with fooleries and vanities, 
both men and women. They have lost the hidden man of 
the heart, the meek and quiet spirit; which with the Lord is 
of great price. They have lost the adorning of Sarah; they 
are putting on gold and gay apparel; women plaiting the 
hair, men and women powdering it; making their backs look 
like bags of meal. They look so strange, that they can scarce 
look at one another; they are so lifted up in pride. Pride has 
flown up into their heads; and hath so lifted them up, that 
they snuff up, like wild asses, and like Ephraim they feed 
upon wind, and are got to be like wild heifers, who feed 
upon the mountains. Pride hath puffed up every one of 
them. They are out of the fear of God; men and women. 
Young and old ; one puffs up another. They must be in the 
fashion of the world, else they are not in esteem; nay they 
shall not be respected, if they have not gold or silver upon 
their backs, or if the hair be not powdered. But if one have 
store of ribands hanging about his waist, at his knees, and in 
his hat, of divers colours, red, white, black, or yel 
low, and his hair powdered; then he is a brave 
man, then he is accepted, then he is no Quaker. 
He hath ribands on his back, belly, and knees, and 
his hair powdered. This is the array of the world. 
But is not this from the lust of the eye, the lust of the 
flesh, or the pride of life"? Likewise the women having their 
gold, their patches on their faces, noses, cheeks, foreheads, 


their rings on their fingers, wearing gold, their cuffs double 
under and above, like a butcher with his white sleeves ; their 
ribands tied about their hands, and three or four gold laces 
about their cloaths; this is no Quaker, say they. This attire 
pleaseth the world; and if they cannot get these things, they 
are discontented. But this is not the attire of Sarah, whose 
adorning was in the hidden man of the heart, of a quiet and 
meek spirit. This is the adorning of the heathen; not of the 
apostle, nor of the saints, whose adorning was, not wearing 
of gold, nor plaiting of hair, but that of a meek and quiet 
spirit, which is of great price with the Lord. Here was the 
sobriety and good ornament which was accepted of the Lord. 
This was Paul s exhortation and preaching. But we see, 
the talkers of Paul s words, live out of Paul s command, and 
out of the example of Sarah, and are found in the steps of 
the great heathen, who comes to examine the apostle in his 
gorgeous apparel. Are not these, that have got ribands hang 
ing about their arms, hands, back, waists, knees, hats, like 
fiddler s boys ? This shews, that they are got into the basest 
and most contemptible life, who are in the fashion of fid 
dler s boys and stage-players, quite out of the paths and steps 
of solid men; in the very steps and paths of the wild 
heads, who give themselves up to every invention and vanity 
of the world that appears, and are inventing how to get it 
upon their backs, heads, feet, and legs ; and say, If it be out 
of the fashion, it is nothing worth. Are not these spoilers of 
the creation, who have the fat and the best of it, and waste 
and destroy it*? Do not these incumber God s earth? Let 
that of God in all consciences answer, and who are in the 
wisdom, judge. And further, if one get a pair of breeches 
like a coat, and hang them about with points, and up almost 


to the middle, a pair of double cuffs about his hands, and a 
feather in his cap, here s a gentleman ; bow before him, put 
off your hats, get a company of fiddlers, a set of musick, and 
women to dance. This is a brave fellow. Up in the chamber ; 
up in the chamber without, and up in the chamber within. 
Are these your fine Christians? Yea, say they. They are 
Christians ; but say the serious people, They are out of Christ s 
life, out of the apostles command, and out of the saints 
ornament. To see such as are in the fashions of the world 
before-mentioned, a company of them playing at bowls, or 
at tables, or at shovel-board, or each taking his horse, with 
bunches of ribands on his head, as the rider hath on his own, 
perhaps a ring in his ear too, and so go to horse-racing to 
spoil the creatures. Oh! these are gentlemen indeed, these 
are bred up gentlemen, these are brave fellows, they must 
take their recreation; for pleasures are lawful. These in their 
sports, set up their shouts like wild asses. They are like the 
kine or beasts, when they are put to grass, lowing when they 
are full. Here is the glorying of those before-mentioned ; but 
it is in the flesh, not in the Lord. These are bad Christians, 
and shew that they are gluttoned with the creatures, and then 
the flesh rejoiceth. Here is evil breeding of youth and young 
women, who are carried away with the vanities of the mind 
in their own inventions, pride, arrogance, lust, gluttony, un- 
cleanness. They eat and drink, and rise up to play. This 
is the generation which God is not well pleased with; for 
their eyes are full of adultery, who cannot cease from evil. 
These be they that live in pleasures upon earth ; these be they 
who are dead while they live ; who glory not in the Lord, but 
in the flesh; these be they that are out of the life that the 
scriptures were given forth from, who live in the fashions 


and vanities of the world, out of truth s adorning, in the 
devil s adorning (who is out of the truth), not in the adorn 
ing of the Lord, which is a meek and quiet spirit, and is with 
the Lord of great price. But this ornament and this adorn 
ing is not put on by them that adorn themselves, and have 
the ornament of Him that is out of the truth. That is not 
accepted with the Lord which is accepted in their eye." 



It is said of Sidney Smith that, when asked by a friend, 
who was an artist, to criticise a portrait of a distinguished 
non-conformist, churchman of England, he replied : "It is ex 
cellent, but do you not think you could throw into the face a 
stronger expression of aversion to the established church*?" 
This witticism might have been reversed and applied to 
Justice Gervase Bennett, who was one of the signers of the 
order committing George Fox to the House of Correction. 
Few enemies of the Quakers displayed more aversion or hos 
tility in act or expression than did Bennett, who like various 
distinguished personalities in history, gained his right to 
fame by one act; in this case the invention of the word 
Quaker. He applied it to Fox in court as an offensive 
epithet. George Fox had written him several letters in which 
he had been called upon "to tremble at the word of the 
Lord," whereupon the Justice applied the term Quaker to 
him. This term has endured until to-day and it is so 
thoroughly identified with the people that it is generally 
used by laymen. Curiously enough, it has become a title of 
honor, the word carrying the suggestion of a God-serving 
people of the highest type of citizenship. For years Quakers 
were, and even to-day are, confounded by some with Shakers, 
and are supposed by the ignorant to quake or tremble or per 
form some absurd manoeuvres at their meetings, when the 
facts are, that of all religious sects they are the most digni 
fied in their worship. 

The Scots now proclaimed Charles II. king. He was living 


in Holland, and a commission was sent asking him to sub 
scribe to the covenant, to abrogate the Episcopacy in Scot 
land, and sever the connection with some lords, who, while 
attached to him, were not acceptable to the party. The King 
did not respond to the invitation of the commission until 
later when he sailed for Edinburgh, where, upon his ar 
rival, he did everything possible to appeal to the English as 
well as the Scotch. In his pronunciamento he said : 

"Though his Majesty, as a dutiful son, be obliged to hon 
our the memory of his royal father, and have in estimation 
the person of his mother, yet doth he desire to be deeply 
humbled and afflicted in spirit before God, because of his 
father s harkening to evil councils, and his opposition to the 
work of Reformation, and to the Solemn League and Cove 
nant, by which so much of the blood of the Lord s people 
hath been shed in these kingdoms, and for the idolatry of 
his mother." 

This was an appeal to the extreme Independents, the fol 
lowers of George Fox and others, and was suggested by some 
clever adviser to deplete the followers of Cromwell, who 
were fighting in Ireland. Parliament now directed General 
Fairfax to proceed against the Scotch, but he refused on the 
ground that he was willing to defend England but not to 
attack Scotland. In this sentiment he doubtless was joined 
by Royalists, the extreme Levellers, Episcopalians and Pres 
byterians in opposition to the Independents who represented 
the English Commonwealth. The position of the Quakers 
was one unalterably opposed to war. Arbitration appealed 
to them and they referred to the Bible in justification of their 
non-combative policy. 

George Fox was in jail carrying on an active propaganda 

From tin HoTsley Painting 


roni 1lie Walker Painting 


by writing sermons and letters, arousing so much feeling that 
the authorities were greatly embarrassed. They regretted 
heartily that they had arrested him. At this time his family 
offered to pay any fine or give bond for his release, but he 
refused to leave the jail without legal procedure, on the 
ground that he was not guilty. On hearing this from Fox, 
the Justice who had committed him, rushed at him and 
knocked him down, maddened at his perseverance. They 
then endeavored to get rid of him by trying to induce him to 
enter the army, offering him a release and a captain s com 
mission if he would enter the service of the Commonwealth 
against Charles Stuart. But he refused, basing his refusal 
upon Biblical grounds and denouncing war with renewed 

All this time George Fox kept up a fusillade of letters ad 
dressed to those in authority. Divested of the peculiar and 
verbose method of writing, then in vogue, they displayed a 
keen appreciation of the need of reform in and out of jails 
and in every department of life. If one did not know the 
period, he could easily imagine the letters to have been 
written by some earnest philanthropist of the twentieth 
century. The situation had a humorous side. Fox by his 
protests, his letters, his conversion of the jailer and his 
family, proved to be a thorn in the side of the authorities, 
who had the temerity to confine him. He would not accept 
money or a commission. He refused the aid of his relatives 
who brought bail, and at last when the jailers ingenuously 
told him to "walk a mile for exercise," hoping he would make 
his escape, he refused. 

Never had so strange or so peculiar a personage been seen 
in England. He was mad, or a fool, or both, contended the 


critics. But Fox replied, "I was arrested without cause. I 
must be placed at liberty legally and the situation adjusted 
with absolute justice." They placed him in a filthy cell 
without a bed, and forced martyrdom upon him in answer to 
his plea. 

While George Fox was languishing in jail in Derby in a 
cell unfit for a dog, Oliver Cromwell had been recalled from 
Ireland and made Commander-in-Chief. He at once pro 
ceeded against the Scotch with an army of veterans number-*, 
ing eleven thousand. Colonel Monk, who later had many 
dealings with the Quakers, was a trusted officer of Cromwell. 
One morning the latter shouted, "that God arise and scatter 
his enemies." With their war cry "The Lord of Hosts" ring 
ing on the air, the Puritans charged. In the midst of the 
battle, to illustrate their devout character, Cromwell s men 
sang the one hundred and seventeenth psalm ; a weird battle, 
both sides calling on the Lord and claiming to fight for Him, 
while George Fox was fighting the methods of both with his 
pen from Derby jail. 

Cromwell routed the Scotch, slew three thousand men, and 
captured several thousand. The Scotch were not dis 
couraged. King Charles entered England at the head of 
fifteen thousand men, but Cromwell followed with thirty 
thousand, and routed him at Worcester, the last battle of the 
Civil War. 

The Commonwealth was now the supreme power in Great 
Britain, and among various new acts came the release of 
George Fox, who again immediately started upon his travels, 
joining a friend and convert, William Dewsbury. Fox de 
voted a part of his time to visiting churches, after the service 
rising and addressing the congregation. The Quakers were 


often attacked for this alleged interference, and later his 
torians have accused them of grossly intruding upon the 
congregations of other clergymen and enforcing their views 
upon them. The facts are, that there was an abundant 
precedent for this action, though whether it was the cour 
teous thing to do is another question. I have seen aliens 
rise in a Friends meeting in the nineteenth century, to be 
firmly and quietly led out if they were at all extravagant 
or ventured upon an attack against the doctrines of the 
Friends. The latter prefer to do their own purging with 
their system of elimination, which has always been effective. 
Addressing other congregations was more or less the rule 
in these ultra-religious days, and custom sanctioned it, 
though many English clergymen or "priests" objected to 
visits of Quakers and urged their congregations to resent it. 
Many of the severest attacks made upon Fox and other 
Quakers in England and America were for this interference. 
In some places his presence was warmly greeted and the 
message of interest to the congregation; but at York Cath 
edral he was thrown out and injured. This was repeated 
at Duncaster; where he was hit with stones. At Tickhill 
a clerk struck him a violent blow with a Bible, and he was 
thrown out of the "steeplehouse" and dragged down the 
street; yet he rose and only reproved the mob, "for dis 
honouring Christianity." 

If the actions of George Fox are carefully studied during 
these eventful and strenuous years, it will be seen that he 
had been a close student of the New Testament. He often 
consoled himself with saying that one greater than he had 
been ill treated for insisting upon telling the truth ; and it is 
beyond question that he had Christ continually in his mind, 


and when attacked refused to retaliate. In a word, he 
followed the Master in this, as in everything else. 

Fox invariably refused to appear against his enemies in 
court, and for this he was accounted a fool. There were 
now several hundred Quakers in England. Thomas Alden, 
Richard Farnsworth, and William Dewsbury were preach 
ing. At Seaburgh George Fox met Francis Howgill, a 
preacher, and at Firbank Chapel John Audland, both of 
whom became converts and most influential in the cause. 
At Under Barrow he met Edward Burrough, a man of fine 
family, who also became a Friend and an eminent man in 
the Society, a leader in every sense. 

The fame of George Fox had now extended well over 
England and Wales, and wherever he stopped to preach 
many were struck with the force of his arguments and the 
correctness of his premise. Here and there among the 
converts were some who could speak, and so aided in repeat 
ing the warnings of Fox and calling attention to the need 
of reforms everywhere. During the tour of English towns 
in 1652, George Fox came one day to Swarthmore, the 
home of Judge Fell, who held court in Wales. Here he 
met a priest named William Lampit with whom he became 
involved in an interesting discussion on mooted religious 
points. Margaret Fell, the wife of the Judge, on the fol 
lowing day asked Fox to go to church and listen to Lampit; 
but Fox declined, telling her that he would stroll in the 
fields until she returned. But it was not long before the 
Quaker felt a "call" to go in, which he obeyed, and as the 
priest closed the service, Fox rose and addressed the con 
gregation in his usual fashion. 

Some of his remarks gave serious offense, and despite the 


protest of Margaret Fell, a constable led him out of the 
church and he was forced to continue his arguments, to those 
who desired to hear him, in the graveyard. In the evening 
he returned to Swarthmore and spoke so convincingly that 
the servants of the Fell homestead, to whom he preached, 
became converted, and Margaret Fell herself was much dis 
turbed, and more than half convinced that he was right. 

Fox travelled on, and the gossip, who lived in 1652 as 
well as in 1912, hastened to inform Judge Fell that the 
members of his household had been the victims of witch 
craft at the hands of one Fox. Margaret Fell, desiring that 
her husband should meet the young Quaker, invited him 
to return, also Richard Farnsworth and one Naylor. Judge 
Fell had heard that the religious peace of his family had 
been broken up, and had returned, on the defensive and 
much worried, though his house had always been a favorite 
meeting place for priests to gather and freely discuss all 

Swarthmore was a literary center, and Swarthmore Hall 
was famed far and near for its hospitality and the culture 
of its owners. Margaret Fell was born in 1614, and living 
during the reigns of James the First, Charles the First, the 
time of Cromwell, and Charles and James the Second, Wil 
liam the Third and Mary, saw all of the persecutions of the 
Quakers. She was identified with three houses in England 
all of which are still standing in Lancashire; Marsh Grange 
at Kirby Ireleth, where she lived as a child, Kirby Hall, the 
home of Colonel Kirby, her prosecutor, and Swarthmore 
Hall, the home of her husband, Judge Fell, who was a mem 
ber of Parliament, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 
and Judge of Cheshire and the North Wales Circuit. Mar- 


garet Fell went to Swarthmore to live when but seventeen 
years of age, and her charming personality, high culture, 
and the erudition of her distinguished husband in a short 
time made Swarthmore Hall well known. Here came 
Quakers of all kinds, from the "convinced" soldiers of 
Cromwell s army to William Penn and Isaac Pennington, 
the Quaker son of a Lord Mayor of London, Thomas 
Lawson, the distinguished botanist, Colonel West, Colonel 
Gervase Benson, Edward Burrough, Francis Howgill, 
Thomas Aldam and others who held meetings here and 
made the Fell home in a sense headquarters of the early 
Friends. Here also one met Henry Coward of Lancaster, 
James Lancaster of Walney who stood between George 
Fox and a Walney mob. Relations and friends of the 
family were Henry and Leonard Fell of Baycliff, near Ul- 
verston; ministers, Thomas Salthouse, Mary Asken, Annie 
Clayton, William Caton and Christopher Holder, a brother 
of Anthony of Winterbourne, first imprisoned in 1665, and 
many more. The Fells, Barclays, Penns, and Penning- 
tons were particularly intimate and congenial, and were 
types of the most cultivated members of the Society, which 
included all classes. In these hospitable halls might have 
been seen Ellis Hooks, who was the Recording Clerk for 
twenty years. 

After dinner, on his second visit at the Fell house, George 
Fox joined the family, and in the course of the evening 
he presented the case of the Friends so vigorously to Judge 
Fell, and in so convincing a manner, that the latter became 
much interested and asked him to call a meeting at Swarth 
more Hall, which George Fox did, and which was con 
tinued until 1690 when a regular meeting-house was built. 


This meeting with the Fells at Swarthmore had no little 
bearing and influence on the future career of George Fox, 
as he met at their home many famous and influential men 
who were convinced by his arguments and logic and his 
remarkable familiarity with the Bible. It is necessary to 
bear in mind the political situation at the time, when the 
entire country was broken up and divided into numerous 
religious and political factions. The message of Fox only 
added to the flame. He preached of the evils of the day, 
attacked the most ancient and time-honored customs and 
exposed their absurdity. No shams were sacred to him, and 
the ignorant and superstitious especially were without doubt 
often honestly alarmed at his temerity. He incensed the 
clergy by accusing them of making a business of religion and 
accepting money for preaching. 

Fox denounced the magistrate and asked, "Is not truth 
silenced in the streets?" He admonished them to observe 
mercy and charity. He called upon Colonel Barton, who 
was an aristocrat, and reproved him for his pride and world- 
liness. He called upon Justice Bennett to show mercy as 
he expected it, to visit the prisons; look into the state of the 
prisoners and aid the oppressed in general. To the Mayor 
of Derby he read a lecture on temperance, reproached him 
for allowing a man to be imprisoned for worshipping God 
in his own way. To the Court of Derby he wrote calling 
attention to the oppression of the poor, the taking of oaths, 
which was forbidden in the Bible. He wrote the authorities 
protesting against the putting of men to death for small 
offences, as was the custom, and for keeping men and women 
in jail for long periods for the same. 

At times Fox was unquestionably under intense religious 


excitement and did things which can only be accounted for 
on the ground that he considered every good impulse which 
entered his mind, the voice of God. Such an instance was 
the removing of his shoes at Litchfield, and his passage 
through the city crying, "Woe ! to the bloody city of Litch 
field," and wondering why the Lord had called upon him 
to do this thing which seemed, possibly, like a penance. Yet 
we see him satisfied when some one told him that during the 
time of Diocletian a thousand Christians were martyred in 
Litchfield. In July, 1656, George Fox was in London aiding 
in promoting the first expedition of Friends to America in 
the "Speedwell," a vessel of about sixty tons, and in Novem 
ber of this year we find him again in London, the members 
of the Speedwell expedition having been banished from 
America and again on English soil. 

With Gerard Rogers, Christopher Holder and others, 
George Fox now organized the famous Woodhouse expedi 
tion. Those proposing to sail were William Brend, Chris 
topher Holder, but recently banished from Massachusetts, 
John Copeland, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Weatherhead, 
Dorothy Waugh, Robert Hodgson, Humphrey Norton, 
Richard Doudney, William Robinson and Mary Clarke. 
The "Woodhouse" was visited off the Downes in 1657 by 
William Dewsbury, who doubtless saw her start on the 
voyage which was just six weeks longer than that of any of 
the large modern steamers over about the same course 
in 1913. 

4 It is practically impossible for anyone, especially a re 
ligious extremist and ultra-enthusiast, believing himself to 
have a divine mission, as did George Fox, to avoid at times 
going to extremes, or what might be termed passing the 


bounds of good taste and reason, and but few such enthus 
iasts have escaped censure. They have at some time become 
irrational. A number of instances can be mentioned among 
early Friends, some of whom poured ashes on their heads 
and paraded the streets garbed in sackcloth or stripped off 
some of their attire, as a "sign. Such persons, doubtless, 
were afflicted with religious dementia, for the time, and 
were carried away by the enthusiasm of their calling. We 
observe this to-day especially in revivals. I have seen per 
sons carried out of a negro Methodist meeting in a cataleptic 
fit. Scenes in camp meeting revivals in the nineteenth cen 
tury were never equalled in the sevententh for fantastic 

* Instances of this kind were rare among the early Friends 
and where any extravagances did occur as a "sign," to 
attract attention violently to the point at issue, much was 
made of it by the enemies of Fox and his followers. * It 
would have been marvelous had not some weak minds given 
way at such a time. We find them among the Baptists, 
the Presbyterians and quite as many to-day among various 
denominations, but no one would think of holding up such 
isolated examples against the different religious bodies as an 
instance of the failure of the entire sect. In all religious 
communities there are extremists who go beyond the bounds 
of reason and bring down odium upon their cause. 

Some Friends, like the irrational Naylor, not strong of 
mind, would read of the performances of the Hebrew proph 
ets, how God commanded Isaiah to walk naked and bare 
footed for three years as a "sign," or how Ezekiel was set up 
as a "sign" unto the House of Israel, would be very likely to 
consider it their duty to go and do likewise, and instead of 


putting such unfortunates under gentle restraint, as they do 
in 1913, they were in 1647 taken seriously and arrested as 
criminals. Even Robert Barclay, one of the most intelligent 
of Quakers, felt called upon in 1677, "to pass through three 
principal streets of Aberdeen clothed in sackcloth." The 
object of this was to attract the attention of the public to 
their sins/ He says, "The command of the Lord concerning 
this thing came unto me that very morning when I awakened, 
and the burden thereof was very great; yea, seemed almost 
insupportable unto me (for such a thing until that very 
moment, had never entered me before, not in the most 
remote consideration.) And some, whom I called to declare 
to them this thing, can bear witness how great was the agony 
of my spirit, how I besought the Lord with tears, that this 
cup might pass away from me! And this was the end, to 
call you to repentance by this signal and singular step, which 
I, as to my own will and inclination, was as unwilling to be 
found in, as the worst and wickedest of you can be averse 
from receiving or laying it to heart." 

Other "signs" were the tearing of his cap before Cromwell 
by Alden, the breaking of jugs or bottles before Parliament, 
the appearance of Robert Huntington in the Carlisle Church, 
garbed in a white sheet with a halter about his neck, the 
scattering of money in the streets of London by Thomas 
Ibbits, or the parade of Solomon Eccles with a pan of burn 
ing coals and brimstone on his head as a sign "to such as 
would not see, and such as would not hear the truth." One 
William Simpson imitated Isaiah by walking naked three 
years, as a sign to Cromwell that God would strip them of 
their power, etc. This unfortunate was doubtless a public 
nuisance, of impaired mentality, and instead of being whip- 


ped repeatedly by officers of the law, should have been 
placed under restraint. These and others took the words 
of Isaiah literally, but they and other extremists of like 
ilk were but few in number compared to the entire body of 
Friends in England, and investigation will show that many 
similar eccentricities have been chronicled among extremists 
in various countries and religions. Samuel M. Janny 
evidently takes these isolated and inconsequential vagaries 
much to heart and apologizes for them. He says : 

"It would be extremely unjust to apply to all the actions 
of former generations the standard of propriety now adopted 
in enlightened nations; for, although the cardinal principles 
of morality have been nearly the same among good people 
in all ages, there has been a vast difference in their manners 
and their ideas of decorum. The few instances of inde 
corum among the early Friends may well be pardoned, 
when we reflect that they lived in an age when, by order of 
public authorities and for no other offense than religious 
dissent, worthy men and virtuous women were stripped to 
the waist, and cruelly scourged in the public streets, both 
in England and America." 

It is altogether unnecessary to take such exhibitions seri 
ously; they were too few, and had little or nothing to do 
with the main work of the Quakers. In all lands, yesterday 
and to-day, men and women have attained all stages of in 
sanity in the cause of religion, from the harikari of the Jap- 
annese, running amuck of the East Indian, pseudo crucifixion 
of certain American Indians, and the sending of children to 
Heaven by feeding them to the crocodiles of India, the 
sharks of Africa and a thousand other eccentricities in the 
last thousand years. It is well to turn the page on the 


crimes and manias which have held under the guise of relig 
ion. They are but the parasite on the branch, have no rela 
tion to the final results of great religious endeavor of the 
ages. Even to-day a certain percentage of the inmates of all 
insane asylums are suffering from religious mania, caused by 
over excitement. I have dwelt upon this inconsequential 
feature because it is so often unjustly taken up by critical 
writers, being merely an incident in the evolution of a great 
moral idea and in no sense a custom. 

George Fox had a striking personality and remarkable 
power of holding his audiences, possessing what is known 
to-day as personal magnetism to an extraordinary degree. 
A woman of Beverly told Justice Hotham that "the last 
Sabbath Day an angel or spirit came into the Church at 
Beverly and spoke the wonderful things of God, to the 
astonishment of all that were there. It astonished all, 
priests, professors and magistrate." This is an excellent 
illustration of the extreme effect produced by Fox on some 
of his hearers, who were influenced by the religious fervor 
of the time. George Fox was the angel, and Justice Hotham 
later became an earnest convert to Quakerism. In one of 
his tours beyond the town of Pickering we have possibly 
one of the first illustrations of the silent meeting. It is 
referred to in his Journal. He says:, 

"I passed to another town where there was another great 
meeting, the old priest being with me; and there came pro 
fessors of several sorts to it. I sate on a hay-stack, and 
spoke nothing for some hours; for I was to famish them 
from words. The professors would ever and anon be speak 
ing to the old priest and asking him when I would begin, 
and when I would speak? He bade them wait; and told 


them, that the people waited upon Christ a long while 
before he spoke. At last I was moved of the Lord to speak; 
and they were struck by the Lord s power. The word of 
life reached to them, and there was a general convince- 
ment amongst them." 

The payment of tithes, taxes to support the established 
church to the priests, was the cause of much trouble. George 
Fox taught that it was not necessary to pay tithes to sup 
port a priest or a church, in which the taxed had no interest, 
confidence or faith. He preached against it and the Friends 
obeyed his injunction. The refusal caused many to be 
thrown into jail in England and in America. In the Journal 
he quotes an instance where a priest was converted and 
refused to take tithes. He says : "From hence I passed on, 
the old priest being still with me, and several others. As 
we went along some people called to him and said, Mr. 
Boyes, we owe you some money for tithes, pray come and 
take it. But he threw up his hands and said, he had enough, 
he would have none of it; they might keep it." And, "He 
praised the Lord he had enough." 

At this time Fox was continually traveling, moving from 
place to place; now in the snow, now sleeping in the "furz" 
or in stacks of corn, or walking soaked in the rain, and 
with houses of refuge closed against him, to be as suddenly 
taken in and made much of by zealous followers. Often 
absurd charges would be trumped up against him so that 
the authorities could lock him up. Here he would be charged 
as claiming to be Christ ; or there, breaking the laws of Par 
liament, or again creating a riot; all in all, his passage 
through England was a stormy one. At Tickhill he was 
nearly killed. They beat him, stoned him, dragged him 


through the streets, threw him over a hedge and rolled him 
about until he was covered with blood and dirt; but he rose 
up and preached to them and forgave them, even when the 
matter was brought into the courts, refusing to appear, as 
the punishment for striking a man in a church was to strike 
off the offending hand. 

His experience at Ulverstone was even more menacing. 
Here Justice John Sawrey incited the people to attack him, 
on the ground that he misrepresented the Scriptures. Fox 
being a non-resistant did nothing to protect himself; so they 
knocked him down, kicked him, and the mob trampled on 
him and doubtless did its best to kill him. They dragged 
him out of the town, beating him with clubs until he fell 
senseless in the mud. Recovering in a few moments he 
began to speak again, when a man struck his outstretched 
arm so foul a blow that it became helpless. Fox literally 
turned the other cheek, crying, "Strike again, here are my 
arms, my head and my cheeks." The man accepted the 
invitation and struck him down. Fox continued to talk to 
them and his fearlessness conquered, as when he returned to 
Ulverstone a soldier approached him and congratulated him 
on his manhood, courage, and for his valor, offering to pro 
tect him. But Fox refused, and what he preached again 
had such an effect that his enemies withdrew, one of the 
many extraordinary instances in which the Quakers won 
their victories by sheer passive resistance and persistence. 
This was one of the secrets of the success of the Quakers 
everywhere: possessed with complete faith, dying, if neces 
sary. With morality and honesty on their side they always 
won their battles, unarmed, and without resisting the 
enemy s blow or attack. 


Additions to the ranks of the Quakers were becoming 
more frequent and every day saw men acclaimed as preach 
ers. Among them, attracting attention, were John Audland, 
Francis Howgill, John Camm, Richard Hubberthorn, Miles 
Halhead, Edward Burrough and Christopher Holder. The 
latter was destined to become a famous preacher in America. 
He was a resident of Winterbourne, Alveston, Gloucester 
shire, near Bristol, and was one of the early converts and 
followers of George Fox. He gave not only his services, 
but of his abundant means. Christopher Holder had kins 
men high in the church, who doubtless objected as seriously 
to his leaving the established church as did the family of 
Penn to the conversion of William Penn. At this time 
Dr. William Holder, who married Susanna Wren, sister of 
Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect, was correlated 
to the third Prebendal Stall in Ely Cathedral by Bishop 
Wren. Later he was sub-deacon of the Chapel Royal and 
sub-almoner to Charles II., and his personal friend. Some 
of the Wren family became converts to George Fox, 
Christopher Holder and other Friends. Susanna Holder 
was famed for her charity and goodness. She was buried 
in the crypt of St. Paul s, London, by the side of her hus 
band, Dr. William Holder. I visited the tomb in 1910, 
and found the following inscription on the monument to 
the wife of Dr. Holder and sister of Sir Christopher Wren : 

"In memory of Susanna Holder, late wife of William 
Holder, D. D., residentiary of Westminster Abbey, daugh 
ter of Dr. Christopher Wren, late dean of Windsor, and 
sister of Christopher Wren, Kt. Among others, her excel 
lent endowments, her prudence, virtue and piety, her charity 
was no small blessing to the neighborhood wherever she 


resided. Having, in compassion for the poor, applied her 
self to the knowledge of medicinal remedies wherein God 
gave so great blessing that hundreds were happily healed by 
her, including King Charles I., Queen Catherine and many 
of the Court, after forty years happily and honorably 
passed in conjugal state and care, at the age of sixty-one 
she piously rendered her soul to God the last day of June, 

George Fox s attempts to preach at Walney Island and 
Cockan were met by the most violent opposition he had 
yet experienced. Men and women fought with flails and 
pitchforks, doing their best to kill him, as well as his friends, 
several of whom usually accompanied him. He was badly 
injured as the result of this and was sent for by Margaret 
Fell and taken to Swarthmore where he was protected by 
Judge Fell, until he was again able to take up the ministry, 
which had now become more than strenuous. 


England was now much disturbed politically. It is true 
Cromwell was the Protector and doubtless could have been 
king and a house of Cromwell established had he forced the 
issue; but his troops were opposed to it. Great Britain was 
virtually a republic, and Cromwell endeavored to pacify 
the Nobles, the Royalists, and his army of Presbyterians - 
a most difficult feat of diplomacy. The so-called Rump 
Parliament was in control. The army was daily becoming 
more and more incensed at Parliament, yet the members, 
not seeing the shadow on the wall, had the temerity to 
attempt to pass a bill the intent of which was to continue 
in office all the existing members without re-election. 

To this the army objected. Cromwell, a man of infinite 
resources, was at his wit s end. His desire was to coalesce all 
the national interests a feat requiring the wisdom of a 

About this time George Fox was visiting at Swarthmore. 
One evening while engaged in a discussion with Judge Fell 
and Justice Benson on the political situation, his views were 
asked by one of the listeners. His reply created a sensation, 
as he prophesied that in two weeks Parliament would 
adjourn, despite its efforts, and the Speaker be "plucked" 
from his seat. While Fox was prophesying Cromwell was 
holding meetings with Sir Harry Vane and others, and as 
a result, he warned Parliament that their bill for political 
perpetuity would not be permitted. Parliament pretended 


to acquiesce, but on April 2oth a meeting was held and 
the attempt was made to rush through this extraordinary 
bill. Cromwell, well informed, heard of it, and, as George 
Fox had prophesied, stopped it. With a few good Pres 
byterian soldiers he walked into the House, denounced the 
recreant Members, took the mace, and handed it to his men ; 
then gave the order to one of them to "Fetch down the 

As the Members filed out, Cromwell stood and watched 
them and did not hesitate to comment on their action. As 
Sir Harry Vane passed he taunted him as a false friend, 
as Vane had prc/mised him certain things which had not 
been performed. "The Lord deliver me from thee, Sir 
Harry Vane." sneered the Protector. This was the end 
of the long Parliament. The so-called Barebones Parlia 
ment assembled; religious fervor was at its height, and some 
men under the influence of Fox were among its number. 
Cromwell opened it with a Puritan sermon. 

The Quakers through their members did not fail in their 
endeavors to influence Parliament. They were deeply in 
terested in certain new measures. One was the abolition of 
the Court of Chancery. Another aimed at the removal of 
the bar to civil marriages, while a third purposed to wipe 
out the payment of tithes and of lay patronage. These 
measures, striking at Episcopalians and Royalists, aroused 
much antagonism and intense excitement among the lawyers 
and the clergy, who were particularly affected. 

While the Quakers may have been the suggesters of 
these radical and excellent movements, the Presbyterians 
were the cat s-paws selected to lift the chestnut; hence 
received the most abuse. That the ideas were right no one 


could question to-day, but like all the reforms of the Qua 
kers, they were two hundred years ahead ot the time, and 
there was a vast amount of ignorance to contend against. 
That the propounder of these new ideas had been justified by 
Cromwell s opening address was evident, but the masses 
seemed to consider them revolutionary, and England was 
thrown into a violent conflict of words and opinions, amid 
which the Quakers were preaching in the churches and high 
ways with rapidly increasing numbers. George Fox made 
a point to preach against war, with which the country ap 
peared to be interminably involved. At Carlisle he visited 
the garrison of Cromwell s troopers and preached to them, 
the officers sounding the call and ordering the garrison to 
gether that they might hear him, upon which he warned 
them to "kill no man," and denounced all warfare with his 
usual vigor. 

Soon after this he was arrested and every attempt was 
made to hang him, his commitment being on the ground 
that he was a blasphemer, a seducer and a heretic. The 
dungeon in which Fox was confined at Carlisle was designed 
to humiliate him to the utmost. It was foul beyond any 
conception and only to be compared to a neglected pen for 
pigs. There were absolutely no conveniences, and here 
vile men and lewd women were crowded together to break 
the heart and dishonor the leader of the Quakers, who, far 
from being cast down, did his utmost to convert and re- 
humanize the wretches who surrounded him. Many ladies 
and gentlemen went to see Fox in jail, among them James 
Parnell, who became a Friend and one of the most influential 
of the Society in later years. Other converts at this time 
were Thomas Briggs and Miles Halhead, who preached 


eloquently, and, as a consequence, were beaten, stoned and 
hounded from place to place. 

A characteristic of the Friends was their persistence, and 
this, with the fact that they never resisted nor were known 
to return a blow, had a peculiar effect upon their enemies^ 
making them all the more vicious and intolerant. Yet 
in many instances in the end they were overcome by the 
evident good faith and piety of the zealous Quakers and 
ceased persecuting them. So persistent a preacher as Fox 
could not fail to attract wide-spread attention, and it was 
not long before the various parties began to realize that 
Quakerism was a potent and momentous issue. This was 
demonstrated when the friends of Fox demanded of Parlia 
ment an investigation into the facts of the imprisonment 
of their leader at Carlisle, calling the attention of Cromwell 
to the horrors of the situation and its gross injustice, showing 
that, while he was posing as the Protector, as the champion 
of freedom in religious thought, a Christian was threatened 
with hanging at Carlisle on a question of religion and the 
freedom of conscience. As a result, in all probability, the 
Governor and Anthony Pearson investigated the situation, 
and in a short time Fox was liberated. 

The extraordinary nature of all writings at this time is 
well illustrated by the following letters by George Fox, 
Gervase Benson and Anthony Pearson. I have in my pos 
session letters written by kinsmen and kinswomen among 
Friends as late as 1860 which are equally remarkable for 
the continual use of religious terms and quotations: 
"Friends, Thomas Craston and Cuthbert Studholm, 

"Your noise is gone up to London before the sober people. 
What imprisoning, what gagging, what havoc and spoiling 


the goods of people have you made within these two years ! 
Unlike men; as though you had never read the Scriptures 
or had not minded them! Is this the end of Carlisle s 
religion"? Is this the end of your ministry"? Is this the 
end of your church, and of your profession of Chris 
tianity*? You have shamed it by your folly, madness, and 
blind zeal. Was it not always the work of the blind guides, 
watchmen, leaders, and false prophets, to prepare war 
against them that could not put it into their mouths ? Have 
you not seen the priests pack-horses and executioners? 
When they spur you up to bear the sword against the just, 
do not you run on against those that cannot hold up such 
as the Scriptures always testified against 1 ? Yet will you 
lift up your unholy hands, and call upon God with your 
polluted lips, and pretend a fast, who are full of strife and 
debate. Did your hearts never burn within you*? Did you 
never come to question your conditions ? Are you wholly 
given up to the devil s lusts, to persecute*? Where is your 
loving enemies ? Where is your entertaining strangers ? 
Where is your overcoming evil with good 1 ? Where are 
your teachers, that can stop the mouths of gainsayers, and 
such as oppose themselves 4 ? Have you no ministers of the 
Spirit, no soldiers with spiritual weapons, displaying 
Christ s colours ? But all the dragons, the murderers, the 
persecutors, arm of flesh, Cain s weapons, chief priests 
taking counsel, Judas and the multitude with swords and 
staves, Sodom s company raging about Lot s house, like the 
priests and princes against Jeremiah, like the dragon, beast 
and great whore, and the false church which John saw 
should cast into prison, kill, and persecute*? Whose 
weapons are you bearing 4 ? Doth not the false church, the 


whore, make merchandise of cattle, corn, wine and oil, even 
to the very souls of men 1 ? Hath not all this been since 
the true church went into the wilderness 4 ? Read Revela 
tions the 12th, with the i8th; do you not read and see 
what a spirit you are of, and what a bottomless pit you 
are in? Have not you dishonoured the place of justice and 
authority ? What ! turned your sword backward, like mad 
men, who are a praise to the evil doer, and would be a ter 
ror to the good, with all force and might to stop the way 
of justice! Doth not the Lord, think you, behold your 
actions ? How many have you wronged? How many 
have you imprisoned, persecuted, and put out of your syna 
gogues? Are you they that must fulfill the prophecy of 
Christ, Matt. XXIII, John XVI? Read the Scriptures, 
see how unlike you are to the prophets, Christ, and his apos 
tles, and what a visage you have, like unto them that per 
secuted the prophets, Christ and the apostles. You are 
found in their steps, wrestling with flesh and blood, not 
with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness; 
your teachers imprisoning and persecuting for outward 
things, you being their executioners; the like whereof hath 
not been in all the nations. The havoc that hath been 
made, the spoiling of people s good, taking away their 
oxen and fatted beeves, their sheep, corn, wool and house 
hold goods, and giving them to the priests that have done 
no work for them. More like moss troopers than ministers 
of the gospel, they take them from friends; suing them in 
your courts, and fining them because they will not break the 
command of Christ; that is, because they will not swear. 
Thus you act against them that do not lift up a hand against 
you, and as much as you turn against them you turn against 


Christ. But he is risen that will plead their cause, and you 
cannot be hid. Your works are come to light, and the end 
of your ministry is seen, what it is for; for means. You 
have dishonored the truth, the gospel; and are of those that 
make it chargeable. You have lost your glory. You have 
dishonoured yourselves. Persecution was ever blind and 
mad. Read the apostle, what he said of himself, when he 
was in your nature. Exaltation and pride, and your lift 
ing up yourselves, hath brought you to this; not being 
humble, not doing justice, not loving mercy. When such 
as have been beaten and bruised by your rude company, 
to whom you are a praise and an encouragement, have 
come and laid things before you, that you might have done 
justice, preserved and kept peace, you, knowing they could 
not swear, have put an oath to them. This hath been your 
trick and cover, that ye might not do justice to the just; 
but by this means go on still further to encourage the evil 
doer. But the Lord sees your hearts ! If ye were not men 
past feeling, ye would fear and tremble before the God of 
the whole earth; who is risen, and will stain your glory, 
mar your pride, deface your beauty, and lay it in the dust. 
Though for a time you may swell in your pride, glory in 
your shame, and make a mock of God s messengers, who, 
for reproving sin in the gate, are become your prey; you 
will feel the heavy hand of God and his judgments at the 
last. This is from a lover of the truth, of righteousness, 
and of your souls; but a witness against all such as make 
a trade of the prophets , Christ s and the apostles words, 
and are found in the steps of them who persecuted the 
prophets , Christ s, and the apostles life; who persecute 
those that will not hold you up, put into your mouths and 


give you means. Tythes were before the law, and tythes 
were in the law; but tythes since the days of the apostles 
have been only since the false church got up. Christ, who 
is come to end the law, and to end war, redeems men out 
of the tenths and out of the nines also. The redeemed of 
the Lord shall reign upon the earth, and know the election 
which was before the world began. Since the days of the 
apostles, tythes have been set up by the papists, and by 
them that went from the apostles into the world; set up 
by the false church that made merchandise of the people, 
since the true church went into the wilderness. But now 
is the judgment of the great whore come; the beast and 
false prophet (the old dragon) shall be taken and cast into 
the fire, and the Lamb and his saints shall have the victory. 
Now is Christ come who will make war in righteousness 
and destroy with the sword of his mouth all these inventors 
and inventions that have been set up since the days of the 
apostles, and since the true church went into the wilderness. 
And the everlasting gospel, which is the power of God, 
shall be preached again to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, 
in this the Lamb s day; before whom you shall appear to 
judgment. You have no way to escape. For he hath ap 
peared who is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the 
Ending, the Alpha and the Omega: he that was dead is 
alive again, and lives forever more ! 

"GEORGE Fox." 

The following is from Gervase Benson and Anthony 
Pearson: "He, who is called George Fox, who is persecuted 
by rulers and magistrates, by justices, priests, and the people, 
and who suffers the imprisonment of his body at this time as 
a blasphemer, an heretick, and a seducer, him do we witness 


(who in a measure are made partakers of the same life 
that lives in him) to be a minister of the eternal word of 
God, by whom the everlasting gospel is preached; by the 
powerful preaching whereof the eternal Father of the saints 
hath opened the blind eyes, unstopped the deaf ears, let the 
oppressed go free, and hath raised the dead out of the 
graves. Christ is now preached in and among the saints, 
the same that he ever was; and because his heavenly image 
is borne up in this his faithful servant, therefore doth fallen 
man (rulers, priests and people) persecute him. Because 
he lives up out of the fall, and testifies against the works 
of the world, that the deeds thereof are evil, he suffers by 
you magistrates, not as an evil doer. Thus it was ever 
where the seed of God was kept in prison under the cursed 
nature, that nature sought to imprison them in whom it 
was raised. The Lord will make him to you as a burden 
some stone; for the sword of the Spirit of the Almighty is 
wicked; and shall not be put up till it hath cut down all 
corrupt judges, justices, magistrates, priests and professors; 
till he hath brought his wonderful thing to pass in the 
earth, which is to make new heavens and a new earth, 
wherein shall dwell righteousness; which now he is about 
to do. Therefore fear the Lord God Almighty, ye judges, 
justices, commanders, priests and people; ye that forget 
God suddenly will the Lord come and destroy you with an 
utter destruction, and will sweep your names out of the 
earth, and will restore his people judges as at the first, and 
counsellors as at the beginning. And all persecutors shall 
partake of the plagues of the whore, who hath made the 
kings of the earth and the great men drunk with the wine 
of her fornications, and hath drunk the blood of the saints ; 


and therefore shall you be partakers of her plagues. We 
are not suffered to see our friend in prison, whom we wit 
ness to be a messenger of the Living God. Now, all peo 
ple, mind whether this be according to the law, or from the 
wicked, perverse, envious will of the envious rulers and 
magistrates, who are of the same generation that persecuted 
Jesus Christ; for he said, as they have done to me, so will 
they do to you. And as he took the love, the kindness, 
the service that was shewed and performed to any of his 
afflicted ones in their sufferings and distress, as done unto 
himself; so the injuries and wrongs that were done by any to 
any of his little ones, he resented as done unto himself also. 
Therefore you, who are so far from visiting him yourselves 
in his suffering servant that ye will not suffer his brethren 
to visit him, ye must depart, ye workers of iniquity, into 
the lake that burns with fire. The Lord is coming to 
thresh the mountains and will beat them to dust; and all 
corrupt rulers, corrupt officers and corrupt laws, the Lord 
will take vengeance on, by which the tender consciences of 
his people are oppressed. He will give his people his law, 
and will judge his people himself, not according to the sight 
of the eye and the hearing of the ear, but with righteousness 
and equity. Now are your hearts made manifest to be full 
of envy against the living Truth of God, which is made 
manifest in his people, who are condemned and despised of 
the world, and scornfully called Quakers. You are worse 
than the heathens that put Paul in prison, for none of his 
friends or acquaintances were hindered to come to him by 
them ; therefore they shall be witnesses against you. Ye are 
made manifest to the saints to be of the same generation 
that put Christ to death, and that put the apostle in prison, 


on the same pretence as you act under; in calling truth error, 
and the ministers of God blasphemers, as they did. But 
the day is dreadful and terrible that shall come upon you, 
ye evil magistrates, priests, and people, who profess the 
truth in words outwardly and yet persecute the power of 
truth and them that stand in and for the truth. While ye 
have time, prize it, and remember what is written, Isa. 
LIV. 17." 

George Fox was continually in the public eye at this time, 
and Cromwell particularly was advised as to his movements. 
Now some sermon was sent to him, or Fox or his followers 
joined him in his drives, and preached to him on horseback; 
and unquestionably the word as interpreted by Fox was not 
in the main objectionable to the greatest man of England. 
There were seasons when the intervention of the name of 
Fox was not pleasant. One day, some recruits of Crom 
well s army were heard refusing to swear and were taken 
to task by the Protector. "Why will you not swear to 
defend your country when you are willing to enter the army 
and fight for it*?" asked the puzzled commander. "George 
Fox has convinced us that it is wrong to swear," replied 
the soldiers; "swear not at all," says the Bible. 

What Cromwell answered history does not state, but he 
accepted their affirmation. He wanted the men to fight 
and was, doubtless, a protagonist of the principle, "Put 
your trust in the Lord, but keep your powder dry," used 
in later times. The protest of Justice Gervase Benson that 
he was not permitted to visit Fox and learn personally of 
his condition, resulted in his being liberated and allowed to 
join his friends. Fox now continued his work over the 
country and was met again and still again by charges from 


the Ranters, priests and others. Fox converted Lady Mon 
tague to his belief, Edward Pyot, and with many influential 
friends, he swept England from Holderness to Bristol and 
from Lands End to Carlisle. 

In their desperation for effective charges, the enemies of 
Quakerism stated that George Fox was scheming against 
the life of the Protector, and Colonel Hacker [ancestor of 
the Lynn, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia Hackers,] with 
seventeen troopers arrested him for plotting against Crom 
well. He was soon released and turned his attention to an 
attempt to rebuke the Pope and other rulers in a peroration 
which reads as follows : 

"Ye heads, rulers, kings, and nobles, of all sorts, be not 
bitter, nor hasty in persecuting the Lambs of Christ, neither 
turn yourselves against the visitation of God, and his tender 
love and mercies from on high, who sent to visit you; lest 
the Lord s hand and power take hold swiftly upon you; 
which is now stretched over the world. It is turned against 
kings, and shall turn wise men backward, will bring their 
crowns to the dust, and lay them low and level with the 
earth. The Lord will be king, who gives crowns to whom 
soever obey his will. This is the age, wherein the Lord 
God of Heaven and earth is staining the pride of man and 
defacing his glory. You that profess Christ and do not love 
your enemies, but on the contrary shut up and imprison 
those who are his friends; these are marks that you are out 
of his life, and do not love Christ, who do not love the 
things that he commands. The day of the Lord s wrath 
is kindling, his fire is going forth to burn up the wicked, 
which will leave neither root nor branch. They that have 
lost their habitation with God are out of his Spirit that gave 


forth the scriptures; and from the light that Jesus Christ 
hath enlightened them withal; and so from the true founda 
tion. Therefore be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slower 
to persecute; for the Lord is bringing his people to him 
self, from all the world s ways, to Christ the way; from 
all the world s churches, to the church which is in God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; from all the world s 
teachers, to teach the people himself by his Spirit; from all 
the world s images, into the image of himself; and from 
all the world s crosses of stone or wood, into his power 
which is the cross of Christ. For all these, images, crosses, 
and likenesses are among them that are apostatized from 
the image of God, the power of God, the cross of Christ, 
which now fathoms the world, and is throwing down that 
which is contrary to it; which power of God never changes. 
Let this go to the kings of France and of Spain, and to 
the Pope, for them to prove all things and hold that which 
is good. And first to prove that they have not quenched 
the Spirit ; for the mighty day of the Lord is come, and 
coming upon all wickedness, ungodliness and unrighteous 
ness of men, who will plead with all flesh by fire and by 
sword. And the truth, the crown of glory, the sceptre of 
righteousness over all shall be exalted; which shall answer 
that of God in everyone upon the earth, though they be 
from it. Christ is come a light into the world, and doth 
enlighten everyone that cometh into the world, that all 
through him might believe. He that feeleth the light, that 
Christ hath enlightened him withal, he feeleth Christ in his 
mind and the cross of Christ, which is the power of God; 
he shall not need to have a cross of stone or wood to put 
him in mind of Christ, or of his cross, which is the power of 
God manifest in the inward parts." 


Many reports regarding the Quakers had reached Wales, 
among other places, and at the request of some of his parish 
ioners a priest, named Morgan Floyd, sent two of his con 
gregation to listen to the Quakers in England and report 
back to the church. One member of this committee was 
John Ap John of Wrexham, a brother of the author s eighth 
great grandfather, Edmund Johnson.* 

George Fox in his Journal writes: "When these Triers 
came amongst us the power of the Lord seized upon them 
and they were both convinced of the truth." John Ap John 
first met George Fox at the home of Judge Fell, at Swarth- 
more. He was converted, and later became one of the 
leading ministers among Friends. He lived at Trevor, 
Wales, and became an intimate friend of George Fox, and 
accompanied him on many of his tours through Wales and 
England. His work is referred to in George Fox s Journal, 
Levick s Early Welsh Quakers, and in a manuscript owned 

*It is an interesting fact that this family and the Goves, became 
prominent Quaker families in New England in later years. The 
descent is as follows: 

(1) Edmund Johnson, Poontypool, Wales, mar. 1530; their son 

(2) John, b. 1588; m. They had two sons, Edmund and John 
Ap John. 

(3) The former married Mary 1635 at Hampton, Mass. 

(4) Their son Peter, b. 1639; m. Ruth Moulton of Hampton, N. H. 

(5) Their son Edmund, b. 1671; m. Abigail Green. 

(6) Their daughter, m. John Gove, 1715. 

(7) Their son Daniel, m. Rebecca Hunt of Hampton. 

(8) Their son Daniel, m. Miriam Cartland of Weare, N. H. 

(9) Their son, Moses, b. 1774; m. Hannah Chase. 

(10) Their son, John C. Gove, m. Hannah Green Gove. 

(11) Their daughter, Emily, m. Dr. J. B. Holder, 1850, of Lynn, 

(12) Their son, Charles F. Holder (the author), married Sarah E. 


by William Gregory Norris of Coalbrookdale. His life has 
also been published by Norman Penney of London. 

It is interesting to observe that most of the Quakers at 
this time believed implicitly that justice would come to 
those who ill treated others; a common superstition in all 
religious bodies in their infancy. Fox refers to certain 
soldiers of Cromwell who at first refused to take the oath, 
then later on did take it. Here is the ominous overtaking: 
"but not long outlived it, for marching afterwards into Scot 
land and passing by a garrison there, these, thinking they 
had been enemies, fired at them, whereby several were 
killed." Many illustrations of this could be given. 

The doctrine of Cromwell, and that of the Puritans in 
general, was not very different from that of the Quakers, 
though the latter would never have admitted this. There 
were many non-essentials on both sides : the plain language, 
the wearing of the hat, and other "peculiarities" which 
seemed of vital importance in 1653. While Cromwell treated 
the Quakers better than all other victors in England, he was 
a man of war, a violent personage, and few, if any, could 
have been found who would have believed that in 1911 the 
Protector would have been looked upon by those who could 
study his character and analyze it judiciously, as one of the 
greatest men in history. 

As George Fox had endeavored to convince the Pope that 
Catholicism was wrong, it was hardly to be expected that his 
followers would not attempt to bring the doughty Protector 
to their terms, and he was continually their shining mark. 
In the latter part of 1654, Fox had sixty well-equipped 
ministers, most of them men of intellectual attainment, and 
not a few from the higher ranks of life, from the best fam 
ilies of several counties. 



Such was Christopher Holder, the fourth great grandfather 
of Mrs. Russell Sage, the American philanthropist. A 
prominent Friend at this time was Edward Burrough, 
student and author. Others were Francis Howgill, dis 
tinguished as a writer and eloquent preacher; Anthony 
Holder, author, and brother of Christopher; Anthony Pear 
son, an ex-justice; Robert Dring, Joshua Cole, William 
Crouch, George Whitehead, John Cramm, Thomas Holmes 
and others. George Fox marshalled these ministers with 
the cleverness of a general. One or two would go to Wales 
and join John Ap John. Two more ministers he sent to 
Holderness to canvass Yorkshire and cover that ground; 
others went to Bristol where Joshua Cole and Anthony 
Holder received them. Christopher Holder and others were 
speaking near Ilchester, in jail and out, and so the kingdom 
was covered in a most extraordinary way. As the opposi 
tion to them increased, their numbers multiplied, and these 
men of peace succeeded in keeping the Commonwealth in an 
uproar, and their demands for reform before the world. 

Friends had so increased in 1654 that regular meetings 
were established at various places, in Bristol, at Anthony 
Holder s, and at the Fell s at Swarthmore. 

The first settled meeting in London was held at the home 
of Sarah Sawyer in Aldgate Street. It was a tenet of the 
Friends that women could speak, and the first public dis 
course in London by a woman was given by Annie Downer, 
who became the wife of a prominent Friend, George White- 
head. New meetings were organized everywhere; one in 
the house of one Bates on Tower Street, another in the home 
of Gerard Robert in Thomas Apostles Street, and soon after 
this a large house known as the "Bull and the Mouth" was 


rented by Martin C. Grand near Aldgate, and meetings held 
in the hotel. From this time on meetings increased in num 
ber and size all over England, Ireland and Wales, despite 
the efforts to break them up and discourage the members. 

In this campaign for reform, Cromwell was never neg 
lected. George Fox had preached at him many times, and 
the earnest and cultivated Francis Howgill was now selected 
to visit Cromwell in person at Court. He discussed the doc 
trine of the Friends with the great commander. Crom 
well questioned as to whether his message was the Word of 
God, as Howgill claimed, and promised to see him at a 
later and more propitious time. Not hearing from him, 
Howgill wrote him the following letter as a reminder: 

"Friend: I was moved of the Lord to come to thee, to 
declare the word of the Lord, as I was moved of the Lord, 
and deal plainly with thee, as I was commanded, and not 
to petition thee for anything, but to declare what the Lord 
had revealed to me, concerning thee; and when I had de 
livered what I was commanded, thou questionedst it, 
whether it was the word of the Lord or not, and soughtest 
by thy reason to put it off; and we have waited some days 
since, but cannot speak to thee, therefore I was moved to 
write to thee, and clear my conscience, and leave thee. 
Therefore hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, 
I chose thee out of all Nations, when thou wast little in 
thine own eyes, and threw down the mountains and the 
powers of the earth before thee, which had established 
wickedness by a law, and I cut them down, and broke the 
yokes and bonds of the oppressor, and made them stoop 
before thee, and I made them as a plain before thee, that 
thou passedst over them, and trod upon their necks; but thus 


saith the Lord, now thy heart is not upright before me, but 
thou takest counsel, but not of me; and thou art establish 
ing peace, but not by me; and thou art setting up laws, 
and not by me ; and my name is not feared, nor am I sought 
after; but thine own wisdom thou establishest. What, 
saith the Lord, have I thrown down all the oppressors, and 
broken their laws, and thou art now going about to estab 
lish them again, and art going to build again that which I 
have destroyed"? Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, Wilt 
thou limit me, and set bonds to me, when, and where, and 
how, and by whom I shall declare myself, and publish my 
name? Then will I break thy cord, and remove thy stake, 
and exalt myself in thy overthrow. Therefore, this is the 
word of the Lord to thee, whether thou wilt hear or forbear. 
If thou take not away all those laws which are made con 
cerning religion, whereby the people which are dear in 
mine eyes are oppressed, thou shalt not be established; 
but as thou hast trodden down my enemies by my power, 
so shalt thou be trodden down by my power, and thou shalt 
know that I am the Lord; for my Gospel shall not be estab 
lished by thy sword, nor by thy law, but by my might, 
and by my power, and by my Spirit. Unto thee, this is 
the Word of the Lord, Stint not the Eternal Spirit, by which 
I will publish my name, when and where, and how I will; 
for if thou dost, thou shalt be as dust before the wind; the 
mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, and he will perform his 
promise. For this is that I look for at thy hands, saith the 
Lord, that thou shouldst undo the heavy burdens, and let 
the oppressed go free. Are not many shut up in prison, 
and some stocked, some stoned, some shamefully entreated? 
And some are judged blasphemers by those who know not 


the Lord, and by those laws which have been made by the 
will of man, and stand not in the will of God; and some 
suffer now because they cannot hold up the types, and so 
deny Christ come in the flesh; and some have been shut up 
in prison because they could not swear, and because they 
abide in the doctrine of Christ; and some, for declaring 
against sin openly in the markets, have suffered as evil 
doers; and now, if thou let them suffer in this nature by 
those laws, and count it just. I will visit for those things, 
saith the Lord; I will break the yoke from off their necks, 
and I will bring deliverance another way, and thou shalt 
know that I am the Lord. 

"Moved of the Lord to declare and write this, by a servant 
of the Truth for Jesus sake, and a lover of thy soul, called 


This letter was seen by some of Cromwell s retainers and 
was the cause of a number joining the Friends. George 
Fox met Cromwell later. He was preaching at Swanning- 
ton where he was arrested by Colonel Hacker (who later 
told Margaret Fell that he regretted his action) on the 
charge that he was plotting against Oliver Cromwell. This 
was a manifestly false charge, as the Friends held it as one 
of their prime virtues to be loyal to the head of the govern 
ment, not to plot or to carry on anything underhanded. It 
is evident that Colonel Hacker, who was executed later, was 
not inclined unfairly to Fox, and in the evidence gave him 
every opportunity to escape; repeatedly asking him to go 
home and refrain from entering churches. But as Fox 
would not promise, Colonel Hacker had no alternative 
but to arrest him. To place the responsibility in the proper 
hands, Colonel Hacker sent Fox to Cromwell in charge 


of Captain Drury of the Guards. Fox at the last moment 
requested to see Hacker and asked for his release, claim 
ing that he had committed no sin. Hacker refused, 
and very naturally, as Fox would not give his word 
to go home and abstain from harassing the priests. 
Then Fox fell upon his knees and prayed that the Lord 
might forgive the soldier. He compared him to Pilate 
(and note here again the ominous and prophetic note of the 
Quaker), "though he would wash his hands; and when the 
day of his misery and trial should come upon him, I bid 
him, Then remember what I had said to him. But he was 
stirred up and set on by Stephens, and the other priests 
and professors, wherein their envy and baseness was mani 
fest; who, when they could not overcome me by disputes 
and arguments, nor resist the Spirit of the Lord that was 
in me, they got soldiers to take me up." 

Afterward, when Colonel Hacker was imprisoned in Lon 
don, a day or two before his execution, he was put in mind 
of what he had done against the innocent; and he remem 
bered it, and confessed it to Margaret Fell; saying, "He 
knew well whom she meant; and he had trouble upon him 
for it. So his son, who had told his father I had reigned 
too long, and it was time to have me cut off, might observe 
how his father was cut off afterwards, he being hanged at 

It was evidently the desire of Hacker and Drury to give 
Fox every opportunity to escape, as on the way to jail 
Captain Drury several times offered to release him, and at 
last told him to go, on his promise to keep away from meet 
ings for two weeks. But Fox declined to promise; he re 
fused to bind himself by conditions, and, as a result, in the 


morning he was taken before Cromwell, but not before he 
had visited William Dewsbury and Marmaduke Storr, who 
were in prison. Cromwell, unquestionably, believed the 
rumors and charges of a plot against him, led by Fox, as 
he demanded that Fox give him a signed paper renouncing 
any attempt against him. 

This interview of George Fox with Cromwell was one of 
the most dramatic events of his career. Without question, 
he touched the heart of the great commander deeply, and, 
had the opportunity been afforded, he would have made 
him more friendly to the Quakers, if not one of them. It 
is so interesting that I give it in the words of George Fox, 
taken from his Journal : 

"I said little in reply to Captain Drury. But the next 
morning I was moved of the Lord to write a paper To the 
Protector, by the name of Oliver Cromwell; wherein I did 
in the presence of the Lord declare, that I did deny the 
wearing or drawing of a carnal sword, or any other out 
ward weapon, against him or any man. And that I 
was sent of God to stand a witness against all violence, 
and against the works of darkness; and to turn people 
from darkness to light; to bring them from the occasion 
of war and fighting to the peaceable gospel; and from 
being evil-doers, which the magistrate s sword should be 
a terror to. When I had written what the Lord had 
given me to write, I set my name to it, and gave it to 
Captain Drury to hand to O. Cromwell; which he did. 
After some time Captain Drury brought me before the 
Protector himself at Whitehall. It was in the morning 
before he was dressed; and one Harvey, who had come a 
little among Friends, but was disobedient, waited upon 


him. When I came in, I was moved to say, Peace 
be in this house; and I exhorted him to keep in the fear 
of God, that he might receive wisdom from him; that by it 
he might be ordered, and with it might order all things 
under his hand to God s glory. I spoke much to him of 
truth; and a great deal of discourse I had with him about 
religion : wherein he carried himself very moderately. But 
he said, We quarreled with the priests, whom he called 
ministers. I told him, I did not quarrel with them, they 
quarreled with me and my friends. But, said I, if we own 
the prophets, Christ and the apostles, we cannot hold up 
such teachers, prophets, and shepherds as the prophets* 
Christ, and the apostles declared against; but we must de 
clare against them by the same power and Spirit. Then I 
shewed him that the prophets, Christ, and the apostles de 
clared freely, and declared against them that did not declare 
freely such as preached for filthy lucre, divined for money, 
and preached for hire, and were covetous and greedy, like 
the dumb dogs that could never have enough; and that 
they, who have the same Spirit as Christ and the prophets, 
and the apostles had, could not but declare against all such 
now, as they did then. As I spoke, he several times said, 
"It was very good and it was truth." I told him That all 
Christendom (so called) had the scriptures, but they wanted 
the power and Spirit that those had who gave forth the 
scriptures ; and that was the reason they were not in fellow 
ship with the Son, nor with the Father, nor with the scrip 
tures, nor one with another. Many more words I had with 
him; but people coming in, I drew a little back. As I was 
turning, he catched me by the hand, and with tears in his 
eyes said, Come again to my house; for if thou and I were 


but an hour of a day together, we should be nearer one to 
the other? adding, That he wished me no more ill than he 
did to his own soul. 1 told him, If he did, he wronged 
his own soul; and admonished him to hearken to God s 
voice, that he might stand in his counsel and obey it; and 
if he did so. that would keep him from hardness of heart; 
but if he did not hear God s voice, his heart would be 
hardened. He said, it was true. Then I went out; and 
when Captain Drury came out after me, he told me, His 
lord Protector said I was at liberty, and might go whither 
I would. Then I was brought into a great hall, where the 
Protector s gentlemen were to dine. I asked them, what 
they brought me thither for? They said, it was by the 
Protector s order, that I might dine with them. I bid them 
let the Protector know, I would not eat of his bread, nor 
drink of his drink. When he heard this, he said, Now I 
see there is a people risen, that I cannot win either with 
gifts, honours, offices, or places; but all other sects and peo 
ple, I can." 

I might add here a comparison between the men who 
looked into each other s eyes, who were really great generals 
in two distinct fields. Both fought the battle of the Lord: 
one with the best-equipped army on earth, armed with the 
most complete implements of war known; the other, a gen 
eral of potential worth and skill ; a fighter who never knew 
when he was conquered, and who fought his battles with 
prayer, passive resistance and tireless energy. 

Fox was a tall, striking figure, with sparkling prominent 
eyes. He wore his hair long, though not in pride. His 
hat was a low-crowned one, and his coat was devoid of but 
tons, or ornament of any kind. It was, in fact, the costume 


of Charles the First, without its decorations, and if Fox 
had tipped up the brim of his hat, given it a rakish, modish 
curve, thrust a splendid ostrich plume through the band that 
would have fallen down over his shoulder, curled and per 
fumed his long hair, had his coat made of satin, instead of 
homespun, and worn a sword, he would have been a copy 
of Charles the First. The king wore lace at his throat, Fox 
a plain white linen band. Fox wore breeches of leather and 
jerkins, knee breeches, coarse stockings and low shoes. He 
bore in his hand a staff or cane about four feet in length 
with a large ivory head. 

As he met Cromwell, Fox retained his hat, and the Pro 
tector, understanding that it was a part of his religion, 
like his buttonless coat, did not object. He, too, was sub 
dued and quiet, in his dress, despite the fact that he was 
the first gentleman of England, an uncrowned King. He 
looked much like a Quaker; wore his hair long behind and 
a small moustache. His coat was of black cloth; he wore 
long boots, trunk hose, a hat of a gray color, stockings of 
gray coarse worsted. In many respects the two men, who 
glanced at each other with inquiring eyes, were garbed alike. 

That the personality of Fox was extremely striking is 
shown in his short and not altogether pleasant acquaintance 
with Captain Drury. The latter, a thoughtless, joking fel 
low, taunted Fox in a good natured manner, and called him 
a "Quaker." Fox rebuked him, with reason, and so touched 
the conscience of the soldier that Drury came to him later 
and apologized, saying that he had cast the last derisive 
word at him or the Friends he represented. 

That Fox resented the term "Quaker" on all occasions 
is well shown in the following extract from his Journal, 


in which he also refers to those who came to hear him out 
of curiosity, expecting to see the Quaker "quake" : "Mind 
the light in your consciences, ye scoffers and scorners, which 
Christ hath enlightened you withal; that with it, ye may 
see yourselves, but ye act, and what ye have acted; for who 
acts such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God: all 
such things are by the Light condemned. 

"You who come to witness trembling and quaking, 
the powers of the earth to be shaken, the lustful nature 
to be destroyed, the scorning and scoffing nature, judged by 
the light; in it wait to receive power from him who shakes 
the earth. That power we own, and our faith stands in it, 
who were painted sepulchres and serpents; and as the Scribes 
which all the world scoffs at; the lofty, the proud, the pre- 
sumptous, who live in presumption and yet make a pro 
fession of the scriptures, as your fathers the Pharisees did, 
who had the chiefest places in the assemblys, stood 
praying in the synagogues, and are called of men Masters, 
whom Christ called Wo against. These are not come so 
far as the trembling of devils, who believed and trembled. 
Let that judge you. The light and life of the scripture is 
seen and made manifest, and with it all you scorners, per- 
secuters, and railers are seen. 

Take warning, all ye powers of the earth, how ye per 
secute them whom the world nicknames and calls Quakers, 
who dwell in the eternal power of God; lest the hand of 
the Lord be turned against you, and ye be all cut off. To 
you, this is the Word of God, fear and tremble, and take 
warning; for this is the man whom the Lord doth regard, 
who trembles at his Word; which you, who are of the 
world, scorn, stock, persecute, and imprison. Here ye may 


see ye are contrary to God, contrary to the prophets; and 
are such as hate what the Lord regards, which we, whom 
the world scorns, and calls Quakers, own. We exalt and 
honour that power which makes the devil tremble, shakes 
the earth, throws down the loftiness of man, the haughti 
ness of man, and makes the beasts of the field to tremble, 
and causes the earth to reel to and fro, cleaves it asunder, 
and overturned! the world. This power we own, honour, 
and preach up, whom the world scornfully calls Quakers. 
But all persecutors, railers, and scorners, stockers and 
whippers, we deny by that power which throweth down 
all that nature; as seeing that all who act such things, 
without repentance, shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 
but are for destruction." 

4n April, 1655, following the Royalist insurrection, a 
f proclamation was issued, called the Oath of Abjuration. 
/ It was aimed at the Quakers who were supposed to be 
i Jesuits in disguise. They were required to take an oath 
\ abjuring papal authority, and the doctrine of trans-substan 
tiation. Nothing could be more absurd, yet it was excellent 
/ material, a sort of "mental stocks" for the Quakers, as the 
/ framers knew their victims could not or would not swear 
or take oath; hence numbers were sent to jail,/ notably Am 
brose Rigge, Thomas Robertson, Miles Halhead and 
Thomas Salthouse. 

George Fox made an attempt to see Cromwell, to obtain 
its revocation, but found that his views had changed. The 
Protector had many troubles. The government was now 
conducted by an "Instrument" of Government, which con 
fided the executive power to the Protector. The Legisla 
tive power was in the hands of Parliament, and the latter 


had the power to pass a bill over Cromwell s veto. The 
Protector apparently did what he could to provide religious 
liberty. He appointed commissioners to watch ministers, 
and ostensibly he allowed them, Presbyterians, Congrega 
tional ists, Baptists, Dissenters, to form churches or con 
gregations along their own lines. Had the Quakers not 
been so aggressive, had they used tact and diplomacy, they 
would have been spared much suffering, but doubtless, 
would not have made much headway. 


In attempting to understand why the Quakers received 
such brutal treatment under Cromwell, when he was at 
times so friendly with their leaders, it is necessary to not 
only keep in mind constantly the political history of Eng 
land during this period; but to understand the trials and 
tribulations of Cromwell himself, who was enacting one of 
the most difficult roles in history, the leader of a great nation 
groping for light. 

Cromwell was the first of the moderns of English his 
tory, a statesman, politician, general, preacher, the first of 
his class to seriously attempt to give the English a system 
of government approximating that which is enjoyed in 
America to-day. He was opposed by the old parties, held 
down by his own followers, cursed by bigots, deceived by 
pseudo friends and enemies of the Quakers. That he 
could not satisfy all was evident, and to attempt it was 
apparently futile. The result of the seeming failure of his 
plans to suit so many sects and parties, began to have its 
effect on the Protector. He became sullen to friend and 
foe, gave way to fierce bursts of rage, and openly displayed 
his contempt for the men he had to deal with; and after 
what was doubtless a true and conscientious attempt to 
solve the situation, he dissolved Parliament in 1655* an d 
again England was involved in political chaos, and hun 
dreds of Quakers were thrown into jail all over the land 
on the slightest excuse. 


Christopher Holder, now known as a preacher, was 
thrown into jail at Ilchester for refusing to take off his 
hat. Many of his fellows were also committed, and their 
friends demanded their release. It was an unpropitious 
time to write Cromwell a letter, but George Fox stood not 
on the order of going; he knew that his enemies had been 
maligning the Quakers, hence he wrote the following and 
sent it to the Protector: 

"The magistrate is not to bear the sword in vain, who 
ought to be a terror to the evil doers; but the magistrate 
that bears the sword in vain, as he is not a terror to evil 
doers, so he is not a praise to them that do well. Now hath 
God raised up a people by his power, whom people, priests 
and magistrates, out of the fear of God, scornfully call 
Quakers, who cry against drunkeness, (for drunkards de 
stroy God s creatures) and cry against oaths (for because 
of oaths the land mourns) and these drunkards and swear 
ers, to whom the magistrate s sword should be a terror, are, 
we see, at liberty; but for crying against such, many are 
cast into prison, and for crying against their pride and 
filthiness, their deceitful merchandise in markets, their 
cozening, their cheating, their excess and naughtiness, their 
playing at bowls and shovel-boards, at cards and at dice, 
and their other vain and wanton pleasures. Who live in 
pleasures are dead while they live, and who live in want- 
oness, kill the just. This we know by the Spirit of God 
which gave forth the scriptures, which God the Father hath 
given to us, and hath placed his righteous law in our hearts ; 
which law is a terror to evil doers, and answers that which 
is of God in every man s conscience. They who act con 
trary to the measure of God s Spirit in every man s con- 


science, cast the law of God behind their backs, and walk 
despitefully against the Spirit of Grace. The magistrate s 
sword, we see, is borne in vain, whilst evil doers are at 
liberty to do evil, and they that cry against such are, for so 
doing, punished by the magistrate, who hath turned his 
sword backward against the Lord. Now the wicked one 
fenceth himself, and persecutes the innocent, and vaga 
bonds and wanderers, for crying against sin, unrighteous 
ness, and ungodliness openly, in the markets and in the 
highways; or as railers, because they tell them what judg 
ment will come upon those that follow such practices. 
Here they that depart from iniquity are become a prey, 
and few lay it to heart. But God will thresh the moun 
tains, beat the hills, cleave the rocks, and cast into his press 
which is trodden without the city, and will bathe his sword 
in the blood of the wicked and unrighteous. You that have 
drunk the cup of abominations, an hard cup have you to 
drink, you who are the enemies of God, of you he will be 
avenged. You in whom something of God is remaining, 
consider: If the sword was not borne in vain, but turned 
against evil doers, the righteous would not suffer, and be 
cast into holes, dungeons, corners, prisons, and houses of 
correction, as peace-breakers, for crying against sin opening, 
as they are commanded of the Lord, and for crying against 
the covetousness of the priests and their false worship; to 
exact money of poor people, whom they do no work for. 
Oh! where will you appear in the day of the Lord? How 
will you stand in the day of his righteous judgment*? How 
many goals and houses of correction are now made places 
to put the Lambs of Christ in, for following him and obey 
ing his commands! The royal law of Christ, "To do as 


ye would be done by," is trodden down under foot; so that 
men can profess him in words, but crucify him wheresoever 
he appears, and cast him into prison, as the talkers of him 
always did in generations and ages past. The laborours, 
which God the Master of the Harvest, hath sent into his 
Vineyard, do the chief of the priests and the rulers now 
take counsel together against to cast them into prison; here 
are the fruits of priests, people and rulers, without the fear 
of God. The day is come and coming that every man s 
work doth and shall appear; glory be to the Lord God for 
ever! See and consider the days you have spent, and the 
days you do spend, for this is your day of visitation. Many 
have suffered great fines, because they could not swear, but 
abide in Christ s doctrine, who saith, Swear not at all; and 
by that means are they made a prey upon for abiding in 
the command of Christ. Many are cast into prison and 
made a prey upon, because they cannot take the oath of 
abjuration, tho they denied all that is abjured in it; and by 
that means many of the messengers and ministers of the 
Lord Jesus Christ are cast into prison, because they will 
not swear nor go out of Christ s command. Therefore, O 
man, consider; to the measure of the life of God in thee 
I speak. Many also lie of goals, because they cannot pay 
the priests tythes; many have their goods spoiled, and 
treble damages taken of them ; many are whipped and beaten 
in the houses of correction, who have broken no law. These 
things are done in thy name, in order to protect them in 
these actions. If men fearing God bore the sword, and 
covetousness was hated, and men of courage for God were 
sent up, then they would be a terror to evil doers, and a 
praise to them that do well; and not cause such to suffer. 


Here many would be heard in our land, and righteousness 
would stand up and take place; which giveth not place to 
the righteousness, but judgeth it. To the measure of God s 
Spirit in thee I speak, that thou mayest consider and rule 
for God: that thou mayest answer that which is of God in 
every man s conscience: for that is it which bringeth to 
honour all men in the Lord. Therefore, consider for whom 
thou rulest, that thou mayest come to receive power from 
God to rule for him; and all that is contrary to God may 
by his light be condemned. 

From a lover of thy soul, who desires thy eternal 
good. G. F." 

Cromwell paid no attention to the complaint. He was 
sullen, suspicious, and disgusted. To a friend of the 
Quakers, he said in keen and subtle sarcasm, "Each sect 
saith, O, give me liberty, but give it and to spare; he will 
not yield to anyone else. Liberty of conscience is a natural 
right, and he that would have it, ought to give it. I desire 
from my heart. I have prayed for it, I have watched for 
the day to see union and right understanding between the 
godly people, Scots, English, Jews, Gentiles, Presbyterians, 
Independents, and nobles and all." 

The situation was more than pathetic. Cromwell was 
not perfect, but unquestionably he was the greatest political 
reformer England had seen. He, doubtless, was deeply 
and pathetically disappointed that he had not succeeded. 
Cromwell had experimented with various methods, but his 
views and ideas were doubtless too advanced for the masses ; 
he was attempting the impossible. 

The continual warring between sects, violent and un 
reasonable, wore on Cromwell s patience. When Mazarin, 


the cardinal of the French, replied to his demand for better 
treatment of the Vaudois by asking good treatment for 
English Catholics, the disgusted Protector replied that he 
could do no more, which meant that he would not. (If ^ 
Cromwell stood for anything in England, it was for re 
ligious toleration, but every sect was disappointed; some 
were ugly and vindictive, others nagging, others again per 
sistent to the limit of patience. It is little wonder that 
the great Protector began to steel his heart against them. 
He was a true reformer, the greatest political protagonist 
for morality that England had produced; but to satisfy the 
scores of sects, to subdue the Royalists and Papists, to stem 
the revolts, to avoid assassinations at the hands of fanatics, 
doubtless wore upon him. As a consequence, the Friends 
or Quakers suffered with the rest, and in 1655-6 over one 
thousand were in jail; many being horribly treated, and a 
certain percentage died from the effects of years or months 
in dungeons. 

When the conditions of life in England at this time are 
realized, there is little wonder that the Quakers were ter 
rorized, and that Cromwell was unable to protect them. 
The masses were still steeped in ignorance. There was an 
appalling illiteracy, despite the advancement in the arts, 
and there was a sordid, brutal side, the remnant of savagery/ 
just as there is to-day in a lesser degree in every community, 
in every land. 

Every point made by Fox and his preachers was a blow 
in the face to the church of England, to Catholicism. I 
have watched women charging the House of Parliament, in 
London, fighting like men for the rights of suffrage ; this in 
1910. How much more amazing and shocking was it in 


1655 to have the claim made for equal rights and to see 
that scandalous outrage, a woman like Margaret Fell, 
preaching, heading a propoganda for religious liberty, anti- 
slavery, and everything else that was not believed in, or 
had never been thought of by the majority of the un- 
awakened masses of the seventeenth century. Little won 
der that the Royalists, the Papists, the Ranters, the uncon 
trollable masses everywhere were aroused. No wonder 
they thought the Reformers and Progressives mad and 
charged them with all the crimes on the calendar, as no one 
but a mad man or woman would contend for what they did 
in 1655. Here, briefly, is what the Quakers were demand 

1. Religious liberty. 

2. Equal rights of women. 

3. Prohibition. 

4. The Simple Life. 

f. Reforms. The example of Christ. 

6. Abatement of War. 

7. Arbitration in all conflicts, based on instruction in 
the Bible. 

8. Purity of Life. 

9. Abolishment of crime, prize fights and fighting and 
all lewd sports. 

10. Abolishment of tythes or taxes to support the 

11. Abolishment of paid ministry. 

12. In favor of civil marriages. 

13. The right to affirm, instead of the use of oaths 
prohibited by the Bible. 

14. Against imprisonment for debt. 


15. Prison reform and moral aid to prisoners. 

16. Rejection of rites of the Church, as baptism, etc., 
on the ground that a spiritual understanding was the in 

17. Against human slavery. 

18. The rights of the poor, ignorant and savages. 

19. Against extreme luxuries and display in living. 

20. Against bowing down to anyone who was really a 
servant of the people, kings, emperors, judges, popes, and 
all officers. 

21. That God communicated personally to every man, 
woman and child. 

22. Religious toleration. 

23. Equal rights to Jews. 

All these reforms are the active questions in England and 
America to-day, but the Quakers began the fight for them 
V two hundred and sixty-four years ago. 

Despite the increasing reserve of Cromwell and his 
changed attitude to the Quakers, the leaders, many of whom 
were men of influence, and some his old soldiers, did not 
fail to importune him to give them real religious toleration. 
As we have seen, in July, 1655, Cromwell dismissed the 
first Protectorate Parliament. His troubles were increasing; 
the love of power was possibly growing in the heart of the 
great Commoner. He had allowed no member to enter the 
Parliament who would not sign a document not to change 
the government, as he had tried to force George Fox to 
sign; not to preach against the government. 

One hundred members of Parliament refused to bind 
themselves and became his enemies. Among others, the 
Quakers protested that this was not liberty, that freedom, 


toleration was being strangled in its birth. Whatever he 
may have thought or intended, Cromwell made himself 
practically a Dictator when he dissolved Parliament and 
the shadow of Charles the Second loomed dark on the polit 
ical horizon. That he had experimented with every possi 
ble condition of government appears to be true. He had 
tried a purely religious rule; he then established a govern 
ment of major generals in which the country was divided 
into districts, with a major general as the governor of each. 
He had also tested government by the representation of the 
people. All seemed to be unsatisfactory and the looker-on 
can well imagine that he must have thought seriously of a 
kingdom and a House of Cromwell. Whether he did or 
not, the Quakers suspected it and at once protested in a 
letter prepared by Edward Burrough : 


"I as one that had obtained mercy from the Lord, and 
unto whom his word is committed, being moved of him, 
do hereby in his presence yet once more warn thee, that 
thou fear before him, and diligently hearken to him, and 
seek him with all thy heart, that thou mayest know his 
will and counsel concerning thee, and mayest do it, and 
find favor in his sight, and live. Now is the day that his 
hand is stretched forth unto thee, to make thee a blessing 
or to leave thee a curse forever; and the days of thy visita 
tion are near an end; when God will no more call unto thee, 
nor hear thee, when in the day of thy trouble thou callest 
to him. And if thou rejectest the counsel of the Lord, and 
followest the desires of thine own heart, and the wills of 
men, and wilt not have the light of the world, Christ Jesus, 


only to rule thee, and to teach thee, which condemns all evil, 
then shall evil surely fall upon thee, if thou lovest not the 
light in thee which condemns it; and the judgments of 
God, nor the day of his last visitation with vengeance, 
thou mayest not escape. Therefore consider and mark my 
words, and let this counsel be acceptable unto thee; let it 
move thee to meekness, to humbleness, and to fear before 
the Lord; assuredly knowing that it is he that changeth 
times and things, and that bringeth down and setteth up 
whomsoever he will; and how that thou wast raised from 
a low estate and set over all thine enemies. And in that 
day when thou wast raised up, when the fear of the Lord 
was before thy face, and thy heart was towards him, and 
thou was but little in thine own eyes, then it was well with 
thee, and the Lord blessed thee. And it was not once 
thought concerning thee, that the hands of the ungodly 
would have been strengthened against the righteous under 
thee, or that such grievous burdens and oppressions would 
ever have been paid upon the just, and acted against them 
in thy name, and under thy dominion, as unrighteously have 
come to pass in these three years; and this thy suffering of 
such things is thy transgression, and thou hast not requited 
the Lord well for his goodness unto thee, nor fulfilled his 
will in suffering that to be done unto thee, and in thy name, 
which the Lord raised thee against, and to break down, 
hadst thou been faithful to the end. 

Again, consider, and let it move on thy heart, not to exalt 
thyself, nor to be high-minded, but to fear continually, 
knowing that thou standest not by thyself, but by another, 
and that he is able to abase thee into the will of thine 
enemies whensoever he will; and how the Lord hath pre- 


served thee sometimes wonderfully, and doth unto this day, 
from the murderous plots, and crafty policy of evil men, 
who seek thy evil, and would rejoice in thy fall, and in the 
desolation of thy family and countries; how have they, and 
do they lay snares for thy feet, that thou mayest be cut 
off from amongst men, and die unhappily and be counted 
accursed 1 ? And yet to this day he hath preserved thee, and 
been near to keep thee, though thou hast hardly known it; 
and the Lord s end is love to thee in all these things, and 
yet a little longer to try thee, that thou mayest give him 
the glory. 

O, that thy heart were opened to see his hand, that thou 
mightest live unto him and die in peace. And beware lest 
hardness of heart possess thee, if thou slight his love, and 
so be shut up in darkness, and given to the desires of thine 
enemies, and left to the counsels of treacherous men, who 
may seek to exalt thee by flattery that they may the better 
cast thee down, and destroy thee, and blot out thy name in 
reproach, and make thy posterity a people miserable. But 
now, O consider, and let it enter into thy heart, for thou 
hast not answered the Lord, but been wanting to him, for 
all this, and hast chosen thy own way and glory, rather 
than his, and not fulfilled his counsel in raising thee; for 
the bonds of cruelty are not loosed by thee, and the op 
pressed are not altogether set free; neither is oppression 
taken off from the back of the poor, nor the laws regulated, 
nor the liberty of pure conscience altogether allowed; but 
these dominions are filled with cruel oppressions, and the 
poor groan everywhere under the heavy hand of injustice; 
the needy are trodden down under foot, and the oppressed 
cry for deliverance, and are ready to faint for true justice 


and judgment. The proud exalt themselves against the 
poor, and the high-minded and rebellious contemn the meek 
of the earth; the horn of the ungodly is exalted above the 
Lord s heritage, and they that are departed from iniquity, 
are become a prey to oppressors ; and the cruel hearted deal 
cruelly with the innocent in these nations. Many are un 
justly and woefully sufferers, because they cannot swear on 
this or that occasion; though in all cases they speak the 
truth, and do obey Christ s commands; even such are trod 
den upon by unjust fines charged upon them; and this is 
by the corruptness of some that bear rule under thee, who 
rule not for God as they ought, but turn the sword of jus 
tice. Some suffer long and tedious imprisonments, and 
others cruel stripes and abuses, and danger of life many 
times, from wicked men, for reproving sin, and crying 
against the abominations of the times, (which the Scriptures 
also testify against,) in streets or other places: some having 
been sent to prison, taken on the highway and no evil 
charged against them; and others committed, being taken 
out of peaceable meetings, and whipped, and sent to prison, 
without transgression of any law, just or unjust, wholly 
through envy and rage of the devil, and such who have 
perverted judgment and justice; and some in prisons have 
suffered superabundantly from the hands of the cruel jailers 
and their servants, by beatings and threatenings, and put 
ting irons on them, and not suffering any of their friends to 
visit them with necessaries; and some have died in the 
prisons, whose lives were not dear to them, whose blood 
will be reckoned on account against thee one day. Some 
have suffered hard cruelties, because they could not respect 
persons, and bow with hat or knee ; and from these cruelties 


canst thou not altogether be excused in the sight of God, 
being brought forth in thy name, and under thy power. 
Consider, friend, and be awakened to true judgment; let 
the Lord search thy heart; and lay these things to mind 
that thou mayest be an instrument to remove every burden, 
and mayest at last fulfill the will of God. O, be awakened, 
be awakened, and seek the Lord s glory, and not thy own, 
lest thou perish before the Lord and men : nay, if men would 
give thee honour, and high titles, and princely thrones, take 
them not; for that which will exalt and honour thee in 
the world, would betray thee to the world, and cast thee 
down in the sight of the world; and this is God s word to 
thee : What ! shall the whole nation be purged of men and 
thou the cause of it"? And wilt thou transgress by build 
ing again that which thou hast destroyed 1 ? Give heed unto 
my words, and understand my speech: be not exalted by 
man lest man betray thee. Deal favorably, and relieve the 
oppressed ; boast not thyself, though the Lord hath used thee 
in his hands; but know that when he will, he can cast thee 
as a rod, out of his hand into the fire; for in his hand thou 
art. If thou wilt honour him, he will honour thee; other 
wise he can, yea, and will confound thee, and break and 
make thee weak as water before him. His love through 
my heart breathes unto thee: He would thy happiness, if 
thou wilfully contemn it not, by exalting thyself, and seek 
ing thy own glory, and hardening thy heart against the 
cry of the poor. This I was moved in bowels of pity to 
lay before thee, who am thy friend, not in flattery, but in 
an upright heart, who wishes well unto thee in the Lord. 

E. Burrough." 


Burrough repeatedly wrote to the Lord Protector and 
interviewed him, protesting against the oppression of the 
Quakers, but with little or no result. Cromwell was offered 
the crown of England by his Parliament, and doubtless 
might have accepted, but his army was not in sympathy with 
the movement, which might have changed the history of 
England; the great Commoner saw the shadow on the wall. 

If the charges made against the Quakers are analyzed it 
will be found that at this time they were often punished 
for pseudo crimes that were non-essentials. The Quakers i/ 
were nearly three centuries ahead of their time in demands 
for reform, yet they made a point of certain things, which 
from a modern standpoint, were not worthy the time and 
thought given to them. One was their refusal to swear. 
In a certain sense, they confused the oath required by courts 
and various legal ceremonies with the oath used as a male 
diction. The oath in a court is merely an assurance, an 
affirmative, made sacred, an assurance that the testator is 
telling the truth. To affirm is equally offensive, as an 
affirmation has all the essentials of an oath. Hundreds of 
Quakers were thrown into jail because they refused to swear 
or take oath. The very idea of an oath was repellant, and 
repugnant, and they held to their point "swear not at all" 
until they were allowed to affirm, and affirm they do to-day. 
They also wore their hats as a protest against recognizing 
any power but God. 

A typical scene in court is described in the following 
from the Journal of George Fox, and this was repeated 
scores of times in America and England. Quakers went to 
loathsome dungeons, rather than remove the hat or take an 
oath: "When we were brought into the court, we stood 


a pretty while with our hats on, and always quiet; and I 
was moved to say, Peace be amongst you. Judge Glyn, 
a Welchman, then Chief Justice of England, said to the 
jailor, What be these you have brought here into the 
court*? Prisoners, my lord, said he. Why do you not 
put off your hats? said the Judge to us. We said noth 
ing. Put off your hats. Still we said nothing. Then 
said the Judge, The court commands you to put off your 
hats. Then I queried, Where did ever any magistrate, 
king, or judge, from Moses to Daniel, command any to put 
off their hats, when they came before them in their courts, 
either amongst the Jews, (the people of God) or amongst 
the heathen 1 ? And if the law of England doth command 
any such thing, shew me that law either written or printed. 
The judge grew very angry, and said, I do not carry my 
law-books on my back. But said I, Tell me where it is 
printed in any statute book, that I may read it. Then said 
the judge, Take him away, prevaricator. So they took 
us away and put us among the thieves. Presently after he 
called to the gaoler, Bring them up again ! Come, said he, 
Where had they hats from Moses to Daniel? Come, an 
swer me, I have you fast now. 

"I replied, Thou mayest read in the Third of Daniel, 
that the three children were cast into the fiery furnace by 
Nebuchadnezzar s command with their coats, their hose, 
and their hats on. This plain instance stopped him; so that 
not having anything else to the point, he cried again, Take 
them away, gaoler. Accordingly we were taken away, 
and thrust in among the thieves; where we were kept a 
great while; and then without being called, the sheriff s 
men and troopers made way for us to get through the 


crowd, and guarded us to prison again, a multitude of peo 
ple following us, with whom we had much discourse and 
reasoning at the gaol." 

This led George Fox to issue a paper against swearing 
and his reason. It is as follows: "Take heed of giving 
people oaths to swear: for Christ our Lord and Master 
saith, Swear not at all, but let your communication be yea, 
yea, and nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these com- 
eth of evil. If any was to suffer death, it must be by the 
hand of two or three witnesses; and the hands of the wit 
nesses were to be first upon him to put him to death. The 
apostle James said, My brethren above all things, swear 
not, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath, 
lest ye fall into condemnation. Hence ye may see those 
that swear fall into condemnation, and are out of Christ s 
and the apostles doctrine. Every one of you have a light 
from Christ, who saith, T am the light of the world, and 
doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world. He 
saith, Learn of me, whose doctrine, and that of the apostle, 
is not to swear; but, Let your yea be yea, and your nay 
be nay, in all your communication; for whatsoever is more 
cometh of evil; they that go into more than yea and nay 
go into evil, and are out of the doctrine of Christ. If you 
say, That the oath was the end of controversy and strife; 
those who are in strife are out of Christ s doctrine; for he is 
the covenant of peace, and who are in that, are in the 
covenant of peace. The apostle brings that but as an exam 
ple: as men swearing by the greater, and the oath was the 
end of controversy and strife among men; saying, Verily, 
men swear by the greater; but God having no greater swears 
by himself concerning Christ; who, when he was come, 


taught not to swear at all. So those who are in him, and 
follow him, cannot but abide in his doctrine. If you say 
they swore under the law, and under the prophets, Christ 
is the end of the law and of the prophets, to every one that 
belie veth for righteousness sake. Now mark, if you be 
lieve "I am the light of the world, which enlighteneth every 
man that cometh into the world, saith Christ, by whom it 
was made; now every man of you that is come into the 
world is enlightened with a light that comes from Christ, 
by which the world was made, that all of you through him 
might believe, that is the end for which he doth enlighten 
you. Now if you do believe in the light, as Christ com 
mands, Believe in the light, that you may be children of 
light; you believe in Christ and learn of him, who is the 
way to the Father. This is the light which shews the evil 
actions you have all acted, the ungodly deeds you have com 
mitted, the ungodly speeches you have spoken; and all your 
oaths, cursed speaking, and ungodly actions. If you heark 
en to this light, it will let you see all that you have done 
contrary to it; and loving it, it will turn you from your 
evil deeds, evil ways, and evil words, to Christ, who is not 
of the world; but is the light, which lighteth every man that 
cometh into the world, and testifies against the world, that 
the deeds thereof are evil. So doth the light in every man, 
received from him, testify against all evil works, that they 
are contrary to the light; and each shall give an account 
at the day of Judgment, for every idle word that is spoken. 
This light shall bring every tongue to confess, yea and every 
knee to bow, at the name of Jesus: in which light, if you 
believe, you shall not come into condemnation, but to 


Christ, who is not of the world, to him by whom it was 
made : but if you believe not in the light, this is your con 
demnation. G. F." 

The Quakers were the first we have seen to allow women 
to speak in meetings, and the fact that they did, and in 
sisted upon it with fervor and enthusiasm, brought upon 
them great suffering and martyrdom, and they were ar 
rested and confined in America. This persecution of de 
fenceless women was not confined to the ignorant, illiterate 
or to extreme emotional cases, but to the refined and culti 
vated, as Margaret Fell, and later Mary Dyer, who was 
hanged on Boston Common. Among the first women to 
suffer in England were Elizabeth Heavens and Elizabeth 
Fletcher, who were arrested in Oxford in June, 1654, for 
speaking in the streets in favor of Quakerism. In fact, 
they were ministers who felt called upon to protest against 
the low standards of the times. 

It is well to bear in mind, that during this period the 
Friends were not attempting to establish a new church or 
a religion, they were not proselyting; they were merely pro 
testing against existing methods as ungodly and unchristian. 
These two women attempted to speak to the students and 
were mobbed. One was pushed into a grave. Then they 
were tied together and thrown under the town pump, into 
ditches, and so foully treated that soon after one of them 
died; but not before both were publicly whipped and driven 
from the city as outcasts and beyond the pale of human 

Another minister, named Barbara Blaugdone, was thrown 
into prison, later stabbed, and again thrown into prisons 
at Marlborough, Devonshire, Moulton, Barnstaple and 


Bediford. In Great Torrington, a priest so influenced the 
Mayor that this delicate woman was arrested and beaten, 
until men and women who witnessed it, were sickened by 
the flow of blood. The officials were amazed, as the woman 
sang praises to the Lord as they cut and lashed her bare 

I do not intend to make this a book of martyrs, hence 
can but touch on the horrors of this martyrdom, and the 
brutal, inconceivable things perpetrated under the banner 
of the cross, only explainable under the premise that human 
beings were still in the age of partial savagery. Examining 
the evidence of these courts and trials two hundred and 
fifty years later, when it is supposed time has tempered 
passion and prejudice, the judicial observer is impressed 
by the evident unfairness of the enemies of Fox; and also 
with the fact that the remarks of the Quaker leader, while 
not so intended, must have been interpreted as extremely 
offensive. One illustration may suffice: Fox and Edward 
Pyot of Bristol were arrested, and there was. in all prob 
ability, so ugly a feeling against them, that if an excuse 
had offered, their enemies would gladly have seen them 
hung. Major Ceely, Justice of the Peace, was testifying, 
and said, "If it please you, my lord, to hear me : this man 
struck me, and gave me such a blow as I never had in my 
life." "At this," Fox says, "I smiled in my heart, and 
replied, Major Ceely, art thou a justice of peace, and a 
major of a troop of horse, and tellest the judge in the face 
of the court and country, that I, a prisoner struck thee, 
and gave thee such a blow as thou never hadst the like in 
thy life? What! art thou not ashamed? Prithee, Major 
Ceely, said I, where did I strike thee? and who is thy 


witness for that? who was by*? He said, It was in the 
Castle-Green, and Captain Bradden was standing by when 
I struck him. I desired the judge to let him produce his 
witness for that; and called again upon Major Ceely to 
come down from the bench, telling him, it was not fit the 
accuser should sit as judge over the accused. When I called 
again for his witness, he said Captain Bradden was his wit 
ness. Then I said, Speak, Captain Bradden, didst thou 
see me give him such a blow, and strike him as he saith*? 
Captain Bradden made no answer, but bowed his head 
towards me. I desired him to speak up, if he knew any 
such thing: but he only bowed his head again. Nay, said 
I, speak up, and let the court and country hear; let not 
bowing of the head serve the turn. If I have done so, let 
the law be inflicted on me; I fear not sufferings, nor death 
itself, for I am an innocent man concerning all his charge.* 
But Captain Bradden never testified to it. The judge, find 
ing those snares would not hold, cried, Take him away, 
gaoler; and when we were taken away, he fined us twenty 
marks apiece for not putting off our hats; to be kept in 
prison till we paid it ; and sent us back to the gaol. 

"At night Captain Bradden came to see us, and seven or 
eight justices who were very civil to us, and told us, They 
believed, neither the judge nor any in the court gave credit 
to those charges which Major Ceely had accused me of in 
the face of the country. And Captain Bradden said Major 
Ceely had an intent to have taken away my life, if he could 
have got another witness. But, said I, Captain Bradden, 
why didst not thou witness for me, or against me, seeing 
that Major Ceely produced thee for a witness that thou 
sawest me strike him? When I desired thee to speak either 


for me or against me, according to what thou sawest or 
knewest, thou wouldst not speak. Why, said he, when 
Major Ceely and I came by you, as you were walking in the 
Castle-green, he put off his hat to you, and said, How do 
you, Mr. Fox? your servant, Sir. Then you said to him, 
Major Ceely. take heed of hypocrisy and of a rotten heart; 
for when came I to be thy master, and thou my servant*? 
Do servants use to cast their masters in prison 1 ? This was 
the great blow he meant that you gave him. Then I called 
to mind that they walked by us, and that he spoke so to me, 
and I to him; which hypocrisy and rotten-heartedness he 
manifested openly, when he complained of this to the judge 
in open court, and in the face of the country; whom he 
would have made believe that I struck him with my hand." 

The strong affection the followers of George Fox had for 
him is illustrated when he was lying in Doomsdale Prison. 
One of his friends, James Parnell, went to Cromwell and 
asked to be placed in the cell in the place of Fox. Crom 
well was greatly impressed by this evidence of true devo 
tion, and turning toward the group of his listening follow 
ers, he said, "Which of you would do as much for me, if I 
were in the same condition?" 

The feature of the Quakers which attracted the most 
attention was their extraordinary persistence, and the fact 
that they never retaliated upon their enemies, except to 
rebuke them, generally with appropriate quotations from 
the Bible. When one went to jail, another minister soon 
appeared to repeat the offense; and there is little question 
that these ministers rising at the end of a Presbyterian or 
Episcopalian or Catholic service and criticising the partic 
ular form was extremely offensive, and caused much of the 


trouble, despite the fact that there was precedent for the 
intrusion. It should be remembered that these remarks 
by Quakers in churches or "steeple-houses" were not gratuit 
ous insults; they were made by conscientious men and 
women who believed they were carrying out the will of the 

There was from now on hardly an indignity that the 
Quakers were not subjected to; and volumes could be filled 
with accounts of the sufferings of these men and women 
for the sake of a principle. 

Humphrey Smith was arrested at Eversham and placed 
in the stocks, and later the same Mayor placed two Quaker 
ministers. Margaret Newby and Elizabeth Courton, in the 
stocks for fifteen hours on a freezing day, and then sent 
them out of the town. There was not a jail in England, 
even the vilest dungeon, but contained at some time one or 
more Quakers who were shown little or no mercy. Many 
Quakers in 1656 went abroad. William Caton, who had 
made a trip through Scotland, sailed for Holland, where 
he preached in Latin. 

The cause of the Quakers in 1656-7 and later, was, un 
doubtedly, injured by fanatics. One by the name of Nay- 
lor, was an ex-soldier. He attracted a number of male 
and female fanatics and extremists to him, and they un 
questionably became a public nuisance. The most char 
itable explanation is that they were partly demented, a 
condition not unusual in times of great religious excite 
ment. But this did not justify Parliament taking up the 
matter and condemning Naylor to a horrible punishment, 
a feature of which was to have his tongue bored with a red 
hot iron, when he rightly should have had the attention of 


a physician and been placed in confinement as a religious 
fanatic. What actually happened was that the seeming at 
tention given to this unfortunate man, caused him to be 
come in a sense a martyr; and his writings and sayings to 
receive much more attention from contemporary authors 
than they deserved. Naylor s actions brought down much 
criticism upon the Quakers, altogether undeserved, as the 
man and his followers were in the main irresponsible. 

There were so many Friends in jail at that time that 
every attempt was made to obtain justice for them. Thomas 
Aldam and Anthony Pearson travelled through England 
visiting all the jails making copies of the commitments of 
Quakers, compiling a list that was so menacing to public 
safety that it was not supposed that Cromwell would have 
the temerity to pass it by. But he refused to intercede and 
Thomas Aldam, who presented it, took his cap from his 
head, and as a "sign" tore it in shreds before the Pro 
tector, remarking in prophetic words, "So shall thy gov 
ernment be rent from thee and thy house." 

The Quakers were not politicians. They were not gifted 
with the arts of diplomacy, and they cared little for the 
fact that Cromwell s interests were bound up in the Inde 
pendents and Presbyterians, and that he could not afford 
to stand boldly by the Quakers and offend the former. 
They demanded the release of their friends, as pure justice, 
and the abrogation of the offensive laws because they were 
wrong. In the fifth month of 1656, the enemies of the 
Quakers succeeded in securing the issuing of a warrant from 
the session of Exon for the apprehension of all Quakers, 
and the number in jail was so rapidly increased that in some 
regions it was an embarrassment, due to the fact that such 


prisoners on liberation began at once to preach again, only 
to be arrested. 

George Fox, now in the dungeon at Lauceston, sent forth 
many appeals to the powers and the people, which may be 
found in his Journal. Cromwell, to whom many of these 
appeals were made, well knew that the thousands of Qua 
kers languishing in jail was in a political sense disquieting; 
but he was not unmindful of other sects who opposed them. 
His policy in Ireland was bringing down upon him the 
curses of the people, yet he was making England respected 
abroad by showing a mail-clad front. His power and am 
bition forced him to antagonize Spain and to make friends 
with Sweden as the natural enemy of the Anti-Christ. 
Spain and France were warring, and one of the questions 
he had to decide was, which to side with. He chose France 
and all Europe trembled as his shadow loomed against the 
chalk-cliffs of England. The Puritan Admiral Blake won 
a battle over the Spaniards, and Admiral Penn, father of 
William, proceeded against San Domingo, which resulted in 
the taking of Jamaica and the establishment of England 
as a power in the West Indies. By the aid of Cromwell, 
France became supreme on the continent, and he took Dun 
kirk to repay England. All this time, the court of Crom 
well was that anachronism of the time, pure, clean and 
based on Christian ideals. No man was appointed to office 
who was known to be immoral or dishonest; yet Cromwell 
permitted gross atrocities against the Quakers. 

George Fox, again out of jail, was preaching through 
out the country. With John Ap John he travelled in Wales, 
then went to Scotland, where he was ordered to appear 
before the council to whom he made an address. 


In 1688, the Protector died, and England was again in 
volved in intense political excitement, and the affairs of the 
Quakers for the moment forgotten. During the ten years 
of Cromwell s supremacy, about two thousand Quakers had 
suffered tortures; many had died in prisons, hundreds died 
later from horrible injuries, of diseases due to their im 
prisonment, and many were ruined financially or driven 
away. Yet on the death of Cromwell, they had increased 
and now assumed, at least to their enemies, formidable 

As Parliament had authorized Cromwell to indicate his 
successor, he named his son on his deathbed. The latter 
took office immediately and as quickly demonstrated that 
he was his father s son but in name. It was soon apparent 
that the Royalists, Republicans and other parties were all 
striving for control. Richard Cromwell came into power 
practically an unknown quantity. His attitude to the Qua 
kers was friendly; but he was a man of little or no force, 
and the general form of government retrograded to that 
in vogue at the beginning of the Civil War. The Royal 
ists continually endeavored to create unrest, aided by the 
ambitions of individuals and various parties. The army 
was divided against itself. General Monk, who had served 
many parties and masters, was now a dominant figure, 
and in the midst of political pandemonium, he headed his 
army of veterans in Scotland, crossed the English line, and 
marched toward London. A clever politician, as well as 
soldier, Monk was looking to the main chance, and arriv 
ing in London, he carefully felt his way, and being the 
balance of power, declared in favor of a free Parliament. 
Monk became the hero of the day. The new Parliament 


met at Westminster and the joint houses invited King 
Charles the Second to return to the country. This was not 
a happy period for the Quakers, as the following letter of 
Edward Billing well discloses: 

"Since General Monk s coming to London with his army, 
we have been very much abused in our meetings; as in the 
Palace-yard, where we were pulled out by the hair of the 
head, kicked and knocked down, both men and women, in 
a manner not here to be expressed. Many were the knocks 
and kicks and blows myself and wife received. And this 
was done by General Monk s foot, who came into the meet 
ing with sword and pistol, being, as they said, bound by 
an oath to leave never a sectarian in England; saying that 
they had orders from Lord Monk to pull us out of our 
meeting; which, with inexpressible cruelty, they did. The 
meeting in the Palace-yard, I suppose thou knowest. 

"After they had beaten us in the house with their swords 
in the scabbards, and with whips, out they drag us, and 
kick us into the kennel, where many a blow I received, 
being knocked and kicked through the Pajace-yard, even 
to the hall door. Being got within the hall, after a little 
recovery I was moved to write a little note to the Speaker 
in the House, Parliament being then sitting. As soon as 
I got into the lobby, I sent into the House for Sergeant 
Chedleton, who came to me, and I gave him the note, laying 
it upon him to give to the Speaker, which he did, and it 
was forthwith read in the House, when an enemy stands 
up and says, The multitude is appeased, &c., &c. I passed 
through them back again to the meeting house, when they 
fell upon me the second time, as before. In my passing 
back to my own lodging they ceased not, but kept crying, 
Kill him, kill him! 


"We afterwards met Colonel Rich, who was much af 
fected to see and hear of our usage. With him, I passed 
through the Palace-yard again, the soldiers and multitude 
being just then beating a woman of the house at the door, 
and plundering the house, notwithstanding it had been said 
that the tumult was appeased. At last I got to Whitehall, 
where General Monk was, with whom I had present aud 
ience. In a few words I laid the whole matter before him, 
and told him that the soldiers said they had his order for it. 
(He said) he might say they had not. I answered, that 
since he and his army had come to town we could not 
pass the streets without much abuse; not having been so 
much abused these many years nay, I say, never by sol 

It was nearly ten years after George Fox began to 
preach, or in 1654, tnat tne doctrine of the Quakers began 
to be preached in Ireland to any extent. William Ed 
mundson, who later became one of the most distinguished 
ministers among the Friends, was the first to join them. 
He was a soldier under Cromwell and had served in Scot 
land. In 1654, Miles Halhead, James Lancaster and Miles 
Bateman visited Ireland, and later John Tiffin, who trav 
elled over the country with William Edmundson, and 
Richard Clayton, who now reached Ireland, preaching at 
Colerain, for which they were banished. They visited 
Kilmore and Antrim, but were thrown into jail at Armagh, 
from which Edmundson was soon released. 

George Fox had sent Edward Burrough and Francis How- 
gill to Ireland, and the program was arranged with such 
skill and generalship, that no sooner did one set of preach 
ers visit a locality and be committed to jail, than another 


party would take their place; in this way a continual in 
terest was kept up. These Friends made many converts in 
Munster. Edward Burrough preached to great crowds 
from his saddle as he rode down the street. A number or 
women ministers visited Ireland at this time, among them 
Elizabeth Fletcher, Elizabeth Smith, Anne Gould and 
Julian Westwood, who performed prodigies of valor in the 
defense of the doctrine of the Friends. The method of at 
tack of Quakers is well illustrated in Limerick, where a 
famous religious disputant, named Captain Wilkinson, at 
one time chief magistrate, held forth. The wandering Qua 
ker preachers heard of him, and one night, headed by one 
Abraham Newbold, entered the hall where he was preach 
ing, and after listening a few moments, cried out in sten 
torian voice, "Serpent be silent!" a novel method of dis 
cussion which either so enraged or astonished the officer 
that he fainted away and had to be carried out, and soon 
gave up discussing religion, at least with Quakers. 

Then out of Scotland came the Barclays of Kirk-town- 
hill. David was a soldier in the army of Gustavus- 
Adolphus, King of Sweden, and later a colonel in the Scot 
tish Army. He became governor of Strathboggie and mar 
ried Catherine Gordon, granddaughter of the Earl of Suth 
erland, a third cousin of James the first. Later he entered 
Parliament, and was prominent in upholding the waning 
ambitions of Cromwell in the direction of the throne. 
Later he was thrown into Edinburgh Castle as a prisoner, 
and became a Quaker. It was David Barclay, who, when 
taunted as to his change of station, now beaten and insulted 
by the riff-raff, replied, "I find more true satisfaction in be 
ing insulted for my religious principles than I did when 


the magistrates of the City of Aberdeen met me miles from 
the city to do me honor and escort me to public entertain 
ments in their town house." David was the father of Rob 
ert Barclay, the author of the "Apology" and voluminous 
writer on the Friends, one of the most distinguished followers 
of George Fox, a man of highest culture and learning. 

Samuel Randall and Joseph Pike also preached in Ire 
land. Meetings were held in Scotland as early as 1653, 
especially at Drumbowry and Heads, Colonel Osborne, 
Richard Rae and Alexander Hamilton being the preach 
ers. These men had no connection with the Quakers, but 
they had possibly heard of George Fox and they soon 
joined him, when Christopher Fell, George Wilson, John 
Grave, George Atkinson, Sarah Cheevers and Catherine 
Evans, preachers, came that way. They were followed in 
1654 by Myles Halhead and James Lancaster, and in 1655 
William Caton and John Stubbs preached in Scotland. 
In 1657 George Fox visited Edinburgh, and in 1658 John 
Burnyeat visited Aberdeen, making a convert of Alexander 
JafTray and many others. 

The Friends were as badly treated in Ireland as else 
where. Edmundson was placed in the stocks at Belturbet, 
and the women thrown into jail; while Robert Wardell 
was placed in the stocks for talking to the Provost. 

In 1660 Christopher Holder appeared in London from 
the American colony with but one ear, the other having 
been cut off in Boston on the order of Governor Endicott, 
to punish Holder for the high crime of insisting upon the 
right of free conscience in America. Holder, doubtless, at 
tracted much attention as his objective was to appeal to 
Cromwell in behalf of the Friends in the colonies. While 


here, Holder was married to Mary Scott, of a well-known 
and distinguished family of Providence, Rhode Island. 
With George Fox and Samuel Shattock and others, he was 
interested in the restoration of Charles the Second, and 
labored to that end. 


(Charles II.) 

The first official document relating to the Quakers under 
the Restoration was General Monk s distinctly friendly re 
ply to the Billing appeal: 

"I do require all officers and soldiers to forbear to dis 
turb the peaceable meetings of the Quakers, they doing 
nothing prejudicial to the Parliament or Commonwealth of 

George Monk." 

This was necessary; moreover, the King when paving the 
way to return, had thrown a sop to the Quakers in an out 
line of the policy that should govern him, as follows: 

"Breda, Fourth month of 1660. 

"Because the passion and uncharitableness of the times 
have produced several opinions in religion, by which men 
are engaged in parties and animosities against each other, 
which when they shall hereafter unite, in a freedom of con 
versation, will be composed, or better understood; we do 
declare a liberty of consciences and that no man shall be 
disquieted, or called in question for differences of opinion, 
in matters of religion, which do not disturb the peace of 
the kingdom, and that we shall be ready to consent to such 
an act of Parliament as upon mature deliberation shall be 
offered to us for the full granting of that indulgence." 



One of the King s first proclamations set free all who 
were imprisoned on account of religious belief; and, as a 
result, seven hundred Quakers were restored to liberty; 
naturally, there was much rejoicing among them. 

There is little doubt but that the King would have dealt 
fairly with the Quakers, had he followed his own desires; 
but the Quakers were but one sect among many, and it was 
practically impossible for him to sit in judgment on them 
all. Again, he was surrounded by advisers who were 
enemies of Fox and his followers; hence a continual recital 
of complaints against the Quakers could not fail to have 
an effect. They^were charged with actually plotting against 
the crown, as in the time of Cromwell, of being Jesuits in 
disguise, of planning wholesale insurrections and even mur 
der. Nothing was too extreme to fasten upon these in 
offensive people, who but rarely were heard in reply. An 
other reason for this, was the extraordinary confusion re 
garding any ecclesiastical policy. Episcopacy was still the 
unrepealed law, while the form of government which still 
held by~"Vinue of Parliamentary ordinance was Presby 
terian. Such a state of affairs with the active zealots of 
each and many sects at work, with George Fox protesting 
and preaching, could not fail to increase the confusion. 
^Peace had been declared, the King was in power again on 
the throne of his ancestors, the civil policy of Charles the 
First was established; but religious chaos involved all Eng 
land. JThe Royalists were clamoring for synods and a di 
rectory. The followers of Laud were in arms against the 
believers in Calvin, both bigots of an extreme type. Then 
there were the moderate Episcopalians of the Usher schism 
and the immoderate Presbyterians of the school of Baxter, 


all contending, denouncing, preaching, a heterogenious com 
mingling of impossibilities, which the Cavaliers laughed 
at and refused to take seriously. 

There is nothing so strange in the world of 1913 as the 
fact that literally thousands of religions have been con 
structed on the philosophy of Christ Confucious, Brahma, 
Hillel, and a few others. This being true, little wonder 
religion in many forms ran riot in 1660. The Royalists, 
divided as they were into many sects, still looked upon the 
Episcopal Church as the only form deserving recognition. 
Yet the new House of Commons, friendly to the House 
of Stuart, had a Presbyterian majority. 

The Quakers were carrying on a propoganda of aggres 
sive justice in every part of England, Scotland, Wales and 
the colonies. To the King, religion seemed a farce, and 
what had been an ecclesiastical policy during the reign of 
his father, seemed to be involved in inextricable confusion. 
Puritanism had run mad. They had made it a crime to 
read the book of Common Prayer. He who attacked the 
Calvinistic form was a public enemy. Clergymen had been 
literally thrown out of churches, and the latter robbed of 
their works of art by a fanatical rabble of iconoclasts. 
Even the Parliament declared that all the paintings in the 
Royal Collection which contained figures of the Virgin, 
should be destroyed. Men went mad, and art was crushed 
under foot. They had practically wiped out Christmas 
and by an act of Parliament made it a day of fasting. 
George Fox had denounced the use of the words January 
and Wednesday as homage to the idols, Janos and Woden. 
Such a condition of things, when the extreme seemed to 
have been reached by all sects, could have but one ending, 


a complete revulsion of feeling on the part of the masses; 
and it came with the Restoration. 

The Quakers were now looked upon as despicable fana 
tics, and the Puritans as canting Schismatics. The Puri 
tans and Caveliers agreed in the main issue of the Restora 
tion, but they split on the rock of religion. The masses 
were weary of Puritans, Quakers and the stringent laws 
and rules; and they looked to the King, a good natured, 
blase sensualist, who loved his ease too much to interest 
himself in the affairs of the nation; but desired power that 
he might enjoy himself. It was this characteristic that 
turned England against Presbyterianism and Quakerism. 
They interfered with the pleasures of the king. The Cav 
aliers won, and the Church of England came into power 
and with it, rolled on a tidal wave of excess, sensualism 
and enactments, undoing the reforms of the Cromwellian 

Such, briefly, was the state of aifairs during the early 
part of the reign of Charles the Second, a condition an 
tagonistic to the safety of the Quakers; yet they increased 
in number and even became more and more systematically 
aggressive in their admonitions and rebukes at the deca 
dence of morality. 

The Quakers had used all their influence to secure the 
restoration of Charles II., and Samuel Shattuck, Edward 
Hubberthorn, George Fox, Edward Burrough and others 
called the attention of the King to Copeland and Holder, 
with ears cut off like hounds: whereupon the King assured 
Richard Hubberthorn "that their sufferings were at an end," 
and his order releasing seven hundred Quakers from jail 
was an evidence of his good faith. 


About this time, despite the friendly acts of the King, the 
enemies of the Quakers grew bolder, and a general move 
ment was made against them. George Fox was arrested at 
Swarthmore, at the house of Margaret Fell, and the latter 
and Anne Curtis journeyed to London to see the King. 
As a result, George Fox was given a hearing, the King dis 
playing much interest in a long questioning which he gave 
him regarding the, to him, peculiar belief of the Quakers. 
During the hearing he reiterated his former friendly feel 
ing by saying, "Well, of this you may be assured, that you 
shall none of you suffer for your opinions on religion, so 
long as you live peaceably, and you have the word of the 
King for it; and I have also given forth a declaration to 
the same purpose, that none shall wrong you or abuse you." 
George Fox was released after twenty weeks in jail on this 
order : 

"By virtue of a warrant which this morning I have re 
ceived from the right honorable Sir Edward Nicholas, 
knight, one of his Majesty s principal secretaries, for the 
releasing and setting at liberty of George Fox, late a pris 
oner in Lancaster jail, and from thence brought hither, by 
habeas corpus, and yesterday committed unto your custody; 
I do hereby require you accordingly to release, and set the 
said prisoner, George Fox, at liberty; for which this shall 
be your warrant and discharge. Given under my hand the 
25th day of October, in the year of our Lord God, 1660." 


Unquestionably the King was earnest and sincere in his 
intentions to the Quakers at this time, and he repeatedly 
reiterated to George Fox and to Richard Hubberthorn that 


they should be protected in their religion; and that his 
famous statement from Breda was to be lived up to. Un 
fortunately for the Quakers, about this time, certain re 
ligious fanatics known as "Fifth Monarchy Men" broke 
out, claiming to have the right to seat, "King Jesus." The 
movement was confined to a few mad schismatics of the 
Millenarian party, and was snuffed out in less than a week; 
but it was used by the enemies of the Quakers, and the 
King was so influenced that he, doubtless, began to fear 
treason, and so was induced to issue proclamations prevent 
ing the meeting of "Sectaries" except in their own churches. 
All street or ..meetings m_-th^ open wr._ prohibited. This 
was a severe blow to the Quakers who would not obey the 
proclamations, as they considered it a molraT~3uTjrTo^ad- 
minister rebukes wherever they were needed. 

To the King, t it was represented that the term Quaker 
was synonymous with treason, and that they were a menace 
to the nation. The Church of England in power, and all 
their enemies in the saddle, the Quakers saw the begin 
ning of evil days. The enemies of the Quakers now raked 
the ancient laws for material to use against them, of which 
the following were best known: 

"An Act passed in the reign of Elizabeth, imposed a fine 
of one shilling on every person over sixteen years of age, 
for each Sunday or Holiday, that he absented himself 
from the parish church. 

"By another Act, a fine of twenty pounds per month was 
imposed on everyone, over the age mentioned, who com 
mitted the same offence. 

"By a third Act, persons convicted of similar wilful ab 
sence from church were made liable to have all their goods, 


and two-thirds of their lands seized, and sold to pay the 
said fine of twenty pounds per month; the same to be re 
peated every year, so long as they may forbear to be present 
at the church. 

"By another Act, passed in the same reign, persons so 
absenting themselves more than a month, without lawful 
cause; attending a conventicle, or persuading another to do 
so, under pretence of religion, are made liable to be com 
mitted to prison, and be there kept until they conform. 
And if they do not so conform within three months being 
so required by a Magistrate in open Assize they abjure 
the realm. If they refuse to abjure the realm, or if they re 
turn without the Queen s license, they shall be deemed 
felons, and be executed without benefit of clergy. 

"The law made in the reign of James I., made it im 
perative on all to swear allegiance to the King, denying any 
right of the Pope, to interfere in the kingdom, or any power 
in him to excommunicate or depose the King, &c." 

With copies of these ancient legends in the hands of 
every justice, judge or official, there is little wonder that 
the jails were again filled with Quakers. Affairs rapidly 
assumed a menacing form for the latter, though many of 
their old enemies, as Colonel Hacker, were hanged and quar 
tered, as enemies of the King. 

The colonies were having serious trouble with the Qua 
kers. George Fox discussed Quakerism with the Jesuits, 
who were disposed to be friendly, and this was held up 
against the Friends, many claiming that the Quakers were 
Jesuits in disguise.* 

*Footnote. There is some reason to believe that the King s 
friendship for the Quakers was influenced by the fact that he wished 
to aid the Catholics, and by according the Quakers certain privileges, 
would divert suspicion from his real object. 


Despite these many drawbacks and frequent arrests, the 
Quaker movement advanced. The first Yearly Meeting in 
England was held at Skipton in 1660, and in 1661 the first 
Yearly Meeting was held in London. The year 1662 was 
ushered in with four thousand two hundred or more Qua 
kers in jail, due to the aggressive campaign for personal 
and religious liberty; though in most instances they were 
jailed for non-essentials, saying, "thou" and "thee" and 
persisting in refusing to take the oath. The latter laid 
them open continually to the charge of treason, while their 
refusal to pay tithes was equivalent to a jail sentence. 

Sir Henry Vane was beheaded at the Tower, Lambert 
sentenced to life imprisonment. The enemies of the very 
memory of Cromwell were having their revenge, and they 
so convinced the King that the Quakers were a menace, that 
he consented to an Act directed against them. The title 
of the Act was as follows : 

"An Act for preventing mischiefs and dangers that may 
arise by certain persons called Quakers and others refusing 
to take lawful oaths." 

This was notable as being the first serious governmental 
attack on the Quakers in England. 

The Act was as follows: 

"I. Whereas of late times, certain persons under the j 
name of Quakers and other names of separation, have taken / 
up and maintained sundry dangerous opinions and tenets., / 
and among others, that the taking of an oath, in any case / 
whatsoever, although before a lawful magistrate, is alto 
gether unlawful, and contrary to the word of God ; and the pr>jr 
said persons do daily refuse to take an oath, though lawfully 
tendered, whereby it often happens that the truth is wholly / 



suppressed, and the administration of justice much ob 
structed: and whereas the said persons under a pretence 
of religious worship, do often assemble themselves in great 
numbers in several parts of this realm, to the great endan 
gering of the public peace and safety, and to the terror of 
the people, by maintaining a secret and strict correspondence 
amongst themselves, fand in the meantime separating and 
dividing themselves from the restof his majesty s good and 
loyal subjectSj 

jpm the_public congregations, and Visual 

"For the redressing therefore, and better preventing 
the many mischiefs and dangers that do, and may arise by 
such dangerous tenets, and such unlawful assemblies, (2) 
Be it enacted by the king s most excellent majesty, by and 
with the advice of the lords spiritual and temporal, and 
commons assembled in Parliament, and by authority of the 
same, that if any person or persons, who maintain that the 
taking of an oath, in any case soever, (although before a 
lawful magistrate,) is altogether unlawful, and contrary to 
the word of God, from and after the four and twentieth 
day of March, in this present year of our Lord, one thou 
sand six hundred and sixty-one, shall wilfully and obsti 
nately refuse to take an oath, where, by the laws of the 
realm he or she is, or shall be bound to take the same, 
being lawfully and duly tendered, (3) or shall endeavor to 
persuade any other person, to whom any such oath shall 
in like manner be duly and lawfully tendered, to refuse and 
forbear the taking of the same, (4) or shall by printing, 
writing, or otherwise, go about to maintain and defend 
that the taking of an oath in any case whatsoever, is al 
together unlawful; (5) and if the said persons, commonly 



called Quakers, shall at any time after the said four and 
twentieth day of March, depart from the places of their 
several habitations, and assemble themselves to the num 
ber of five or more, of the age of sixteen years or upwards, 
at any one time, in any place under pretence of joining in 
a religious worship, not authorized by the laws of this 
realm, (6) that then in all and every such case, the party 
so offending, being lawfully convicted, by verdict of twelve 
men, or by his own confession, or by the notorious evi 
dence of the fact, shall lose and forfeit to the king s majesty, 
his heirs and successors, for the first offence, such sum as 
shall be imposed upon him or her, not exceeding five 
pounds; (7) and if any person or persons, being once con 
victed of any such offence, shall again offend therein, and 
shall in form aforesaid be thereof lawfully convicted, shall 
for the second offence forfeit to the king, or sovereign lord, 
his heirs and successors, such sum as shall be imposed upon 
him or her, not exceeding ten pounds: (8) the said re 
spective penalties to be levied by distress, and sale of the 
parties goods so convicted, by warrant of the parties before 
whom they shall be so convicted, rendering the overplus to 
the owners, if any be: (9) and for want of such distress, 
or non-payment of the said penalty within one week after 
such conviction, that then the parties so convicted shall for 
the first offence be committed to the common jail, or house 
of correction, for the space of three months; and for the 
second offence during six months, without bail or main- 
prize, there to be kept to hard labor; (10) which said 
moneys so to be levied, shall be paid to such person or per 
sons, as shall be appointed by those before whom they shall 
be convicted, to be employed for the increase of the stock 


of the house of correction, to which they shall be com 
mitted, and providing materials to set them on work : ( 1 1 ) 
and if any person, after he in form aforesaid, hath been 
twice convicted, of any of the said offenses shall offend the 
third time, and be thereof, in form aforesaid, lawfully con 
victed, that then every person so offending, and convicted, 
shall for his or her third offense, abjure the realm; or other 
wise it shall, and may be lawful to, and for his majesty, 
his heirs and successors, to give order and to cause him, 
her, or them, to be transported in any ship or ships, to 
any of his majesty s plantations beyond the seas. 

"III. And it is ordained and enacted by the authority 
aforesaid, that all and every justice of Oyer and Terminer, 
justices of assize, and jail-delivery, and the justices of the 
peace, shall have full power and authority, in every of their 
open and general quarter sessions, to inquire, hear, and de 
termine all and every the said offences, within the limits 
of their commission to them directed, and to make process 
for the execution of the same, as they may do against any 
person being indicted before them of trespass, or lawfully 
convicted thereof. 

"IV. And be it also enacted, that it shall and may be 
lawful to, and for any justice of the peace, mayor, or other 
chief officer, of any corporation, within their several juris 
dictions, to commit to the common jail, or bind over, with 
sufficient sureties to the quarter sessions, any person or per 
sons offending in the premises, in order to his or their con 
viction aforesaid. 

"V. Provided always, and be it hereby further enacted, 
that if any of the said persons shall, after such conviction 
as aforesaid, take such oath or oaths, for which he or she 


stands committed, and also give security that he or she shall 
for the time to come forbear to meet in any such unlawful 
assembly as aforesaid, that then, and from thenceforth, 
such person and persons shall be discharged from all the 
penalties aforesaid; anything in this act to the contrary 

"VI. Provided always, and be it ordained and enacted 
by the authority aforesaid, that all and singular lords of 
the Parliament, for every third offence committed against 
the tenor of this act, shall be tried by their peers, and not 

This was followed by numerous arrests and the outlook 
for Quakers was more than deplorable. 

Yet Burrough, Fox and all the leaders made an aggres 
sive fight for their liberties. Prisons in London and with 
out were crowded with men and women. In Cheshire, 
sixty-eight Quakers were confined in a room so small that 
they could not sit down. Many died. In London five 
hundreds were confined, beaten and abused with every evi 
dence of fury. The King protested that it was not his fault, 
but he did not stop it. All the great leaders among Qua 
kers were now active, Edward Burrough, John Burnyeat, 
A. Jaffray, William Edmundson, William Dewsbury, Rob 
ert Lodge, Thomas Loe, Isaac Pennington, William Caton, 
William Ames and many more, appealing to the King and 
people, to the authorities in England, Ireland and Scot 
land, where their meetings were established. Appealing, 
praying, despite beatings, jail terms in filthy dungeons, at 
tacks of every possible kind ; yet in all the records of Eng 
land, during the Restoration, there is not an instance of the 
Quakers having struck a blow or having comported them- 


selves in any objectionable way. They, literally, turned 
the other cheek. If they were jailed, they prayed for the 
jailer and those in authority and worked for their salva 

An Act of Parliament was secured by their enemies, 
forcing all who held office to take the sacrament according 
to the rites of the Episcopal church, its object being to shut 
out the Quakers and other Dissenters from office to better 
control the situation, and crush them, i Troops were sent 
to the Bull and Mouth meeting in London, where they beat 
the devotees, hauled them out, inflicting terrible outrages 
upon them. This was repeated in other meetings, all given 
in detail in the contemporaneous books of the day. 

Richard Hubberthorn and Edward Burrough, ministers, 
with twenty more, died in jail; Burrough was the Friend 
who had been assured protection by the King. It is true 
that Charles inquired after him and ordered his release, 
and that with the consent of the Privy Council he issued 
a proclamation renewing the assurances of fair treatment, 
of his Breda declaration, promising also that Parliament 
would take the matter under consideration. This was done, 
but to the amazement of the Quakers, Parliament refused 
to act, repudiating the Breda promise of the King. As the 
latter was dependent upon Parliament for funds to meet 
his enormous financial embarrassments, he was forced, 
whatever may have been his feelings of friendship, to ac 
quiesce; though his effort to save the Quakers had its moral 
effect on the inhuman judges and other officers, who were 
hounding the helpless followers of Fox. 

i / 1662 was a memorable year in the history of 
/ I Quakerism. Four thousand two hundred Quakers were 



in jail, thousands assaulted, many killed, scores so injured 
from vile jails and brutal assaults that they died. Hun 
dreds were robbed and ruined financially, all the result of 
the imposition of the Quaker Act, the Act of uniformity, 
enforcing the use of the prayer book and the ejectment of 
non-conformist ministers. 

The year 1663 saw the passage of the Conventicle Act 
forbidding all religious assemblages, except those allowed 
by the Church of England, and the arrest of George Fox 
and his incarceration in Lancaster Castle for a year and a 
half from which, had he not been a physical marvel, he 
never would have escaped, so horrible beyond description 
were the conditions here. From this place he was sent to 
Scarborough. Even here, the wit of Fox was exhibited. 
The place was so smoky that he could not see across the 
room, and when Sir Jordan Crosland, the Papist Governor, 
came groping in to inspect him and asked how he liked it, 
the wily Fox replied, that judging from the smoke and 
fumes it must be Sir John s "Purgatory." Fox was im 
mured in this particular purgatory a year when he was 
released by an order from the King, through the interven 
tion of many Friends, among whom was John Whitehead. 

Margaret Fell, who later married George Fox, was ar 
rested at about the same time for allowing Quakers to meet 
in her house, Swarthmore Hall. She plead her own case, 
but was sent to Lancaster Castle and confined in a room 
in which the rain fell. Here this refined, cultivated and 
educated English woman of the finest type, was imprisoned 
for four years. Her crime consisted in advocating the con 
ditions which hold among men in 1913. Quakers were 
now banished on charges so puerile that the sea captains re- 


ceiving them often landed them privately, refusing to be 
a party to the outrage. 

About this time, George Bishop wrote to the King and 
Parliament, "meddle not with my people because of their 
conscience to me, and banish them not out of the nation 
because of their conscience; for if ye do, I will send my 
plagues upon you, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 

Written in obedience to the Lord, by his servant. 

George Bishop." 

It has been referred to previously, that the Quakers were 
impressed with the belief that those who persecuted them 
would be overtaken with retribution. There is repeated 
reference to this in contemporaneous works. The threat 
of George Bishop was recalled and created consternation not 
long afterwards, when after continued and shameful per 
secution of Friends, London was afflicted by the breaking 
out of the plague. It was, of course, purely circumstantial; 
but thousands, especially Puritans and Quakers, took it as 
an answer to the wrath of Bishop and the insolence and 
brutality with which his petition was received by the King. 
While the authorities were sending Quakers out of the 
country and shipping them to Jamaica and Barbadoes, 
thousands of citizens and officers were dropping dead in 
the streets. Eight thousand died in a single week, and be 
fore the end, one-seventh of the City of London had been 
wiped out of existence. 

"Now," writes Sewell, the Dutch Historian of the Qua 
kers, "the prediction of George Bishop was fulfilled; and 
the plagues of the Lord fell so heavily on the persecutors, 
that the eagerness to banish the Quakers and send them 
away began to abate." This in all sincerity, and lest the 


reader smile at the credulity of these people, it is well to 
remember the extraordinary superstitions which prevail in 
all countries, sects and conditions of men and women, and 
society to-day. 

The King, whose religion was of a hazy and nondescript 
character, with much elasticity and width of range, was not 
disturbed by the prophecies of Bishop, as when the ominous 
foreboding was repeated to him, while the hundreds were 
dropping dead hourly, he displayed his wit by asking one 
of his courtiers whether any of the Quakers themselves had 
died of the plague ; and when he heard the affirmative reply, 
laughed lightly and shrugged his shoulders. This might 
have been considered a staggering blow, but the Quakers 
were always ready with Biblical quotations: one they used 
being the words of Solomon, "There is one event to the 
righteous and to the wicked;" and Job s He destroyeth the 
perfect and the wicked." These were, metaphorically, 
hurled by Quakers at his Majesty, who, aside from being 
languidly clever, was one of the best friends the Quakers 
had among Royalty. 

In these early days there was apparently no attempt on 
the part of George Fox to organize a society or a new sect 
or religion. In other words, his prime object was to re 
buke the sinners of the world, not add to its militant re 
ligious bodies; but organization came as a natural 
sequence and meetings of various kinds were formed, now 
at Waltham and Shackelworth and many in London. All 
joined in raising funds to aid in the release of Friends, as 
there were in the fifth month of 1665, the year of the Great 
Plague, one hundred and twenty men and women in jail 
awaiting banishment as Quakers, while Newgate and 


Bridewell were also crowded with Friends imprisoned on 
the first offense. The Quakers were crowded on plague- 
laden vessels, and scenes of horror enacted beyond belief, 
but none of these terrors discouraged them. They increased 
in numbers and in 1666, David Barclay, who was to become 
a distinguished Friend, joined forces with them. Another 
distinguished Quaker was Baron Swinton of Swinton, an 
ancestor of Walter Scott. David Barclay was imprisoned 
in Edinburgh Castle, and his brilliant son was a victim of 
many violent assaults. 

Another singular prophecy was made in 1666. A Quaker, 
named Thomas Ibbit from Huntington, visited London, 
and as a "sign" to arouse the people from their sensual and 
unholy lives passed through the streets, prophesying a judg 
ment of fire. Soldiers stopped him and asked what he 
meant. He replied, that he had had a vision of a fire and 
felt called upon to warn the people of their impending 
doom. Before Ibbit left London, or two days after his 
prophesy, London was overwhelmed by the greatest fire 
in all its history. Thirteen thousand two hundred dwelling 
houses were destroyed, eighty-nine churches and other new 
public buildings. The Quakers were great losers, which 
made the King smile again, but the terrible calamity for 
the time stopped the persecutions. George Fox was re 
leased from Scarboro Castle after three years imprisonment, 
the day before this holocaust. He was practically a physi 
cal wreck; but he began his ministrations and was in London 
while it was burning. He considered it a retribution, and 
says, "I saw the city dying according as the word of the 
Lord came to me several years before." The Bull and 
Mouth meeting was destroyed in this fire, and scores of 


meeting places and houses of Friends were wiped out of ex 

It became evident to the Quakers who had been preach- l 
ing in almost every town and city in England, Scotland, 
Ireland and Wales, that they had the rudiments of an or 
ganization, which but needed merging to make a homo- 
genious unit. As a result of this, came the first at 
tempt to establish a uniform system of church government. 
This began in London. George Fox writes in his Journal, 
"Then was I moved of the Lord to recommend the setting 
up of five monthly meetings of men and women in the City 
of London, besides the women s meeting and the quarterly 
meetings, to take care of God s glory, and to admonish or 
exhort such as walked disorderly and carelessly, and not 
according to truth. For whereas Friends had only Quar 
terly Meetings, now Truth was spread and Friends grown 
more numerous, I was moved to recommend the sitting of 
Monthly Meetings throughout the nation. And the Lord 
opened to me what I must do, and how the men s and 
women s Monthly and Quarterly meetings should be or 
dered and established in this and other nations; and that I 
should write to those where I came not, to do the same." 

Here began the system which, undoubtedly, resulted in 
the extraordinary church body or religious sect known to 
themselves as the Society of Friends, which, judged rigidly 
on its merits as a method or organized plan to eliminate evil, 
is without parallel in the world. 

The reader will understand my meaning, when I state 
that I examined some years ago the private records of a 
large meeting of Quakers from 1670 to 1760 or there 
abouts. It contained the record of every admonishment to 


members, of every crime committed by Quakers during that 
time known to the meeting or any of its many hundred 
members. During this period numbers of Friends were 
disowned for marrying outside of the meeting; but as for 
the crimes of to-day, they were not to be found. In all 
that period, there were but three names whose owners had 
been considered disgraced; one was for failing in business 
and involving others ; the other two were for over-indulgence 
in spirituous liquors. Such a record cannot be found in any 
other religious sect in the world, and it was not the excep 
tion in all Friends communities in any land and America 
then, nor is it to-day. 

The general meetings of Friends had long been 
held and long been referred to. One was at Swan- 
nington in 1654, another at Edge Hill, 1656, Balby 1658. 
George Fox refers to the Skipton meeting in 1660 as fol 
lows: "To this Meeting came many Friends out of most 
parts of the nation; for it was about business relating to 
the church, both in this nation and beyond the seas. Sev 
eral years before, when I was in the north, I was moved to 
recommend to Friends the setting up of this Meeting for 
that service; for many Friends suffered in divers parts of 
the nation, their goods were taken from them contrary to 
law, and they understood not how to help themselves, or 
where to seek redress. But after this Meeting was set up. 
several Friends who had been Magistrates, and others who 
understood something of the law, came hither, and were 
able to inform Friends, and to assist them in gathering up 
the sufferings, that they might be laid before the Justices, 
Judges, or Parliament. This meeting had stood several 
years, and divers Justices and Captains had come to break 


it up; but when they understood the business the Friends 
met about, and saw Friends books, and accounts of col 
lections for the relief of the poor, how we took care one 
county to help another, and to help our Friends beyond 
the sea, and provide for our poor that none of them should 
be chargeable to their parishes, &c., the Justices and officers 
confessed that we did their work, and would pass away 
peaceably and lovingly, commending Friends practice. 
Sometimes there would come two hundred poor of other 
people, and wait till the meeting was done, for all the coun 
try knew we met about the poor, and after the meeting, 
Friends would send to the bakers for bread, and give every 
one of those poor people a loaf, how many soever there were 
of them; for we were taught to do good unto all, though 
especially to the household of faith. 

Originally the Quarterly Meeting was designed to at 
tend to marriages, births, the children of the Society, the 
raising of funds for widows, or those imprisoned, or any 
business requiring immediate attention, generally relegated 
to-day to the monthly meeting. 

In 1668, George Fox writes, "The Men s Monthly Meet 
ings were settled throughout the nation. I wrote also on 
to Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Barbadoes and several parts 
of America, advising Friends to settle their men s monthly 
meetings in these countries, for they had their Quarterly 
Meetings before." There was another supervisory meet 
ing called the "Two Weeks Meeting at which various 
minor matters were arranged, as discipline and oversight of 
the various London meetings. Some of these meetings were 
composed of women, who visited the sick in jail, looked 
after the widows and orphans. 


The "Yearly Meeting" had not yet appeared, though its 
equivalent, "The General Meeting of Ministers" met in 
London in 1668 and again in 1672. This meeting gave 
advice to the smaller ones and to members, and one of its 
epistles reads, "That for the better ordering, managing and 
regulating the public affairs of Friends, relating to the 
truth and service thereof, there be a general meeting of 
Friends held at London once a year, in the week called 
Whitsun-week; to consist of six Friends for the city of 
London, three for the City of Bristol, two of the Town of 
Colchester, and one or two from each of the counties of 
England and Wales." This was the first Yearly Meeting, 
tho it was discontinued until "Friends in God s wisdom shall 
see a further reason." 

The General Meetings were continued, and George Fox, 
in referring to them said in 1674: "Let your General As 
semblies of the Ministers, examine as it was at the first, 
whether all the ministers that go forth into the counties, 
do walk as becomes the gospel; for that you know was one 
end of that meeting, to prevent and take away scandal, 
and to examine if all who preach Christ Jesus, do keep to 
his government, and in the order of the gospel, and to ex 
hort them that do not." 

We next hear of the "Yearly Meeting" in 1677, when 
they sent an invitation to the Quarterly to send representa 
tives to be held at the same period the following year in 
London, the object being, "For the more general service of 
truth and the body of Friends, in all those things wherein 
we may be capable to serve one another in love." At the 
termination of this meeting, the call to meet again the fol 
lowing year was repeated; and from this time, the Yearly 


Meeting has always been held among Friends all over the 
world, and has been the governing power, exercising full 
supervisory, moral and legislative control over all other 
meetings and doings in the Society. The following is from 
the preamble: "The intent and design of our annual as 
semblies, in their first constitution, was for a great and 
weighty oversight and Christian care of the affairs of the 
churches, pertaining to our holy profession and Christian 
communion; that good order, true love, unity and concord 
may be faithfully followed and maintained among us." 
For many years, the Yearly Meeting was composed of ap 
pointed delegates or representatives. Then a change was 
made and the meeting was composed of members of the 
General and Quarterly meetings in Great Britain, repre 
sentatives being also sent to it from the semi-annual meet 
ings in Ireland. As many cases of discipline came up at 
the Quarterly and Monthly meetings, members could ap 
peal to the Yearly Meetings, if they so desired, the latter 
being supreme and decisive, a court of last appeal. 

At the time, when the Friends were being persecuted, a 
special committee was formed to investigate the cases of 
Friends who were thrown into jail and to intercede for 
them. This committee was always in session and met in 
London, really representing the yearly meeting between the 
dates of its sessions. The meetings of this committee be 
came known in 1677 as "The Meeting for Sufferings." 

In this way, slowly and as the result of demand, the 
framework of the Society of Friends rose and assumed form, 
and later rules and regulations governing personal behavior 
and action were made. Naturally, the ideas of George Fox 
were highly esteemed. In 1668, he issued a paper of sug- 


gestions and instructions, which can be found in the minutes 
of many old meetings. It was particularly interesting, as 
a part of the peculiar and efficient machinery of the new 
Society devised to spiritualize its members and eliminate evil 
from their midst. It was this constant watchfulness that 
made the Friends a remarkable people for their consistency 
and faith in any time. It was practically a system of nat 
ural elimination. If a member could not live according to 
the ethics of the Society, he or she was labored with. 
Everything was done that could be done by friends and 
members of special committees, and then if there was no 
hope, as a last regrettable resort, the offending member was 
cut off or disowned. In the early days, and even in the 
nineteenth century, this was strictly carried out, and hun 
dreds of Friends were disowned for such failures as marry 
ing out of the Society or digressions in dress and other non- 

The essence of the Fox document, defining the duties of 
Friends and their obligations, is as follows: 

"Friends, Fellowship must be in the Spirit, and all 
Friends must know one another in the Spirit and Power of 

"First: In all the meetings of the country, two or three 
being gathered from them to go to the General Meetings, 
for to give notice one to another, if there be any that walk 
not in the truth, and have been convinced and gone from 
truth, and so dishonor God, that some may be ordered from 
the meeting to go and exhort such, and bring to the next 
General Meeting what they say. 

"Secondly: If any that profess the truth, follow pleas 
ures, drunkenness, gamings or are not faithful in their call- 


ings and dealings, nor honest nor just, but run into debt, 
and so bring a scandal upon the truth, Friends may give 
notice to the General Meeting (if there be any such), 
and some may be ordered to go and exhort them, and bring 
in their answer next General Meeting. 

"Thirdly: And if any go disorderly together in mar 
riage, contrary to practice of the holy men of God, and as 
semblies of the righteous in all ages; who declared it in the 
assemblies of the righteous, when they took one another; 
(all things being clear,) and they both being free from any 
other, and when they do go together ,and take one another, 
let there not be less than a dozen Friends and relations pres 
ent (according to your usual order) having first acquainted 
the men s meeting, and they have clearness and unity with 
them; and that it may be recorded in a book according to 
the word and commandment of the Lord: and if any walk 
contrary to the truth herein, let some be ordered to speak 
to them and give notice thereof to the next General Meet 

"Sixthly: And all such as marry by the Priests of Baal, 
who are the rough hands of Esau, and fists of wickedness 
and bloody hands, and who have had their hands in the 
blood of our brethren, and are the cause of all the banish 
ment of our brethren, and have spoiled so many of their 
goods, casting into prison, and keep many hundreds at this 
day such as go to them for wives or husbands, must come 
to judgment, and condemnation of that spirit that led them 
to Baal, and of Baal s priests also: or else Friends that 
keep their habitations must write against them and Baal 
both; for from Genesis to the Revelations you never read 
of any priest that married people; but it is God s ordinance, 


and whom God joins together let no man put asunder; and 
they took one another in the assemblies of the righteous 
when all things were clear. Therefore, let all these things 
be inquired into and brought to the General Meeting, and 
from thence some ordered to go to them and to return what 
they say at your next meeting. And all these, before they 
or any of them be left as heathens or written against, let 
them be three or four times gone to; that they may have 
Gospel order, so that if it be possible they may come to 
that which did convince them, to condemn their unrighteous 
doings that so you may not leave a hoof in Egypt. 

"Eighthly: And in all your meetings let notice be given 
to the General Meetings of all the poor; and when you have 
heard that there are many more poor belong to one meet 
ing than to another and that meeting thereby burdened and 
oppressed, let the rest of the meetings assist and help them ; 
so that you may ease one another, and help to bear one 
another s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ, and so see 
that nothing be lacking, according to the apostle s words. 
Mark, nothing lacking, then all is well. ... So there 
is not to be a beggar now amongst the Christians, according 
to the law of Jesus, as there was not to be any amongst the 
Jews, according to the law of God. 

"Tenthly: And that notice be taken of all evil speakers, 
back-biters, slanderers and foolish talkers and idle jesters; 
for all these things corrupt good manners, and are not ac 
cording to the saints and holy ones: whose words are sea 
soned with salt, ministering grace to the hearers. 

"Eleventhly: And all such who are tale carriers and 
railers, whose work is to sow dissension, are to be reproved 
and admonished ; for such do not bring people into the unity 


of the Spirit, but by such doings come to lose their own 

"Twelfthly: And all such as go up and down to cheat 
by borrowing and getting money of Friends in by-places 
(and have cheated several). 

"Thirteenthly : And if there happen any differences be 
tween Friend and Friend of any matters, and if it cannot 
be ended before the General Meeting, let half a dozen 
Friends from the General Meeting be ordered to put a steady 
end thereto; that justice may be speedily done, that no dif 
ference may rest or remain amongst any: (and let your 
General Meeting be once in every quarter of a year, and to 
be appointed at such places as may be most convenient for 
the most of Friends to meet in). So that the house may 
be cleansed of all that is contrary to purity, virtue, life, 
light, and spirit and power of God. So that Friends may 
not be one another s sorrow and trouble, but one another s 
joy and crown in the Lord. 

"Fourteenthly : And all Friends see that your children 
be trained up in the fear of the Lord ; in soberness, and holi 
ness, and righteousness, temperance and meekness, and gen 
tleness, lowliness and modesty in their apparel and carriage; 
and so to exhort your children and families in the truth; 
that the Lord may be glorified in all your families; and 
teach your children when they are young, then will they 
remember it when they are old, according to Solomon. So 
that your children may be a blessing to you and not a curse. 

"Sixteenthly : And also that Friends do buy necessary 
books for the registering of births, marriages, and burials, 
as the holy men of God did of old ; as you may read through 
the Scriptures; that every one may be ready to give a testi- 


mony and certificate thereof, if need require, or any be 
called thereunto. 

"Seventeenthly : And also that the sufferings of Friends 
(of all kinds of sufferings) in all the counties be gathered 
up and put together, and sent to the General Meeting, and 
so sent to London, to Ellis Hookes; that nothing of the 
memorial of the blood and cruel sufferings of your brethren 
be lost, which shall stand as a testimony against the mur 
dering spirit of this world, and be to the praise of the ever 
lasting power of the Lord in the ages to come; who sup 
ported and upheld them in such hardships and cruelties; 
who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 

"Eighteenthly: And let inquiry be made concerning all 
such as do pay tithes, which makes void the testimony and 
sufferings of our brethren who have suffered, many of them 
to death; by which many widows and fatherless have been 
made, and which is contrary to the doctrine of the apostles 
and the doctrine of the martyrs, and contrary to the doctrine 
of the righteous in this present age: all such are to be in 
quired into, and to be exhorted. 

"Dear Friends be faithful in the service of God, and mind 
the Lord s business, and be diligent, and bring the power of 
the Lord over all those that have gainsaid it; and all you 
that be faithful go to visit them all that have been con 
vinced, from house to house, that if it be possible you may 
not leave a hoof in Egypt; and so every one go seek the 
lost sheep and bring him home on your backs to the fold, 
and there will be more joy of that one sheep than the ninety- 
nine in the fold. 

"And my dear friends live in the wisdom of God, that 
which is gentle and pure, from above, and easy to be en- 


treated, and bear one another s infirmities and weaknesses, 
and so fulfill the law of Christ ; and if any weakness should 
appear in any of your meetings, not for any to lay it open 
and tell it abroad; that is not wisdom that doth so, for love 
covers a multitude of sins, and love preserves and edifies 
the body, and they that dwell in love dwell in God, for 
He is love, and love is not provoked. And, therefore, keep 
the law of love, which keeps down that which is provoked, 
for that which is provoked hath words which are for con 
demnation, therefore let the law of love be amongst you, 
it will keep down that which is provoked and its words, 
and so the body edifies itself in love. 

"Copies of this to be sent all abroad amongst Friends 
in their men s meetings. (1668.) G. F." 

The treatment of Friends or Quakers in Ireland was as 
rigorous as in England, as the generals of the Fox army 
of martyrs were preaching in its green fields, writing crit 
icism. Among them were John Burnyeat and Robert Lodge, 
who were imprisoned; also Thomase Loe, an eminent min 
ister, and William Edmundson; the latter being released 
on one occasion by the Earl of Mountrath, who stood by him 
against the Justice. Later he was arrested again, though 
he accomplished an important work in following the in 
structions of George Fox and establishing meetings through 
out Ireland. These were called "Provincial Meetings" in 
Ireland, and were held every six weeks. 

In 1669, George Fox travelled through Ireland and de 
voted himself to the work of organization. Among others, 
he founded a general semi-annual meeting, to meet in Dub 
lin, with power to send delegates to London meetings. 
George Fox and William Edmundson now travelled over 


Ireland together, and it was the direct result of their preach 
ing that attracted the attention of William Penn to the 
Quakers, as he joined them in Ireland. 

/ ///: A If I/O/, / .|/.V77.V</ O/ 1 WILLIAM / /-. VV 





The political history of England during the reign of 
Charles the Second is of profound interest. It was an era 
of gross profligacy. From the period of morality under 
Cromwell, the politicians appeared to pass to the antipodes, 
all of which forced the Quakers into greater activities, as 
they considered it their duty to rebuke dissolute practices. 

Clarendon did what he could to restrain the King, but 
he accumulated enemies, who at last overwhelmed him. 
The government became extremely unpopular. France 
loomed up as an enemy and only the cleverness of Sir 
William Temple, who accomplished the triple alliance be 
tween England, Sweden and Holland, thus checking the 
ambitions of France, saved the day and restored good feel 
ing in England. 

At this time, two notable figures came into the fold of 
the Quakers: William Penn, a son of Sir Admiral Wil 
liam Penn, and Robert Barclay of Uray. 

William Penn was born near the Tower of London in 
1644, the year before Laud was beheaded; in rapid suc 
cession in his boyhood, came the execution of Charles the 
First, the Protectorate under Cromwell, and the Restora 
tion of Charles the Second. His father was one of the 
famous admirals in the British service, Sir Admiral Wil 
liam Penn, a man of aristocratic ambitions and the friend 
of King Charles. He had served under Charles the First 


and was Vice-Admiral of the Straits at twenty-nine. Crom 
well gave him his estates in Ireland to recoup him for 
various losses; yet the Protector permitted spies and in 
formers to undermine Admiral Penn in his estimation; and 
on his return from the West Indies with his fleet he was 
arrested and thrown into prison, later releasing him. 

Pepys, in his extraordinary diary, repeatedly refers to 
Penn, and the following from a sharp-tongued gossip of the 
day, a Mrs Turner, a cousin of Pepys, illustrates that the 
venom of the envious gossip was "like unto a serpent s 
tooth," even in the seventeenth century: "Then we fell 
to talk of Sir. W. Pen, and his family and rise. She (Mrs. 
Turner) says that he was a pityfull (fellow) when she first 
knew them; that his lady was one of the sourest, dirty 
women, that ever she saw; that they took two chambers, one 
over another, for themselves and child, in Tower Hill ; that 
for many years together they eat more meals at her house 
than at their own ; did call brothers and sisters the husbands 
and wives; that her husband was godfather to one, and she 
godmother to another, this Margaret, of their children, by 
the same token that she was fain to write with her own 
hand a letter to Captain Twiddy, to stand for a godfather 
for her; that she brought my Lady who was then a dirty 
slattern, with her stockings hanging about her heels, so that 
afterwards the people of the whole Hill did say that Mrs. 
Turner had made Mrs. Pen a gentlewoman, first to the 
knowledge of my Lady Vane, Sir Henry s lady, and him to 
the knowledge of most of the great people that then he 
sought ; and that his rise hath been from his giving of large 
bribes, wherein, and she agrees with my opinion and knowl 
edge before therein, he is very profuse." 


Upon his release from prison, Sir William returned to his 
Irish estate near Cork, and lived the life of a country gen 

In wandering in 1910 through the beautiful church St. 
Mary Redcliffe of Bristol, which Queen Elizabeth in 1574 
called the "fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church 
in England," where so many Friends have suffered, I came 
upon the armor of Admiral Penn, hung upon the ancient 
walls, that were erected in 1086, mention of the old pile 
being found in the Charter of Henry II., about 1158. On 
the interior wall of the tower is a large monumental tablet 
to Sir William, who was a native of Bristol, and who be 
came a Quaker. He is buried in the church. Over the tab 
let hangs the armor and the parts of some ancient flags 
which it is supposed were captured from the Dutch fleet. 
The inscription on the tablet is as follows : 

To ye Just Memory of Sr Will Penn Kt and Sometimes 
Generall, borne at Bristol In 1621, sone of Captain Giles 
Penn severall years Consul for ye English in ye Mediter 
ranean of ye Penns of Penns Lodge in the County of 
Wilts & those Penns of Penn in ye C of Bucks & by 
his Mother from ye Gilberts in ye County of Somerset. 

Originally from Yorkshire. Adicted from his 
youth to Maritime affaires. He was made Captain at 
ye years of 21 ; Rear-Admiral of Ireland at 23 ; Vice- 
Admiral of Ireland at 25; Admirall to ye Streights 
at 29 ; Vice- Admiral of England at 3 1 ; & Generall 
in ye first Dutch Warres at 32; whence retiring 
in Ano 1655; He was Chosen a Parliment man for ye 

Town of Weymouth 1660; made Commissioner of 
ye Admiralty, Navy Governor of ye Towne & forts of 


King-sail, Vice-Admirall of Minister & a member of 
that Provinciall Counseill & in Anno 1664 Was 

Chosen Great Captain-Commander under his 
Royal Highnesse ; in Ye Signall and Most Evidently 

successfull fight against ye Dutch fleet. 

Thus He Took Leave of the Sea, His old element, But 

Continued still His other Employs Till 1669 at what 

Time, Through Bodely Infirmitys (Contracted by ye 

Care and fatigue of Publique Affairs) He Withdrew 

Prepared & Made for His End : & with a Gentle & 

Even Gale in much Peace Arrived and Ancord In his 

Last and Best Port, at Wanstead in ye County of Essex 

ye 16 Sept: 1670, being then but 49 & 4 Months old. 

"To whose Name and Merit, His Surviving Lady 

hath Erected this Remembrance." 

His son was being prepared for Oxford by a tutor, when 
Thomas Loe, a Quaker minister, went to the vicinity and 
aroused profound interest, making many converts. Sir Wil 
liam, with the inbred courtesy of an English gentleman whose 
motto is always fair play, invited the preacher to his house 
where a meeting was held. Young Penn, later the founder 
of Pennsylvania, was but eleven years old, but the meeting 
and the preacher s words made a lasting impression on him. 
Later he entered Oxford, and there is reason to believe that 
in these days he had a strong predilection for religion. The 
same Thomas Loe preached at Oxford while Penn was a 
student. He and some friends heard him and were so con 
vinced of the correctness of his deductions that Young Penn 
became a convert and was expelled from the University for 
refusing to wear the cap and gown, and for other breaches 
of University law and order. Admiral Penn, was highly 


enraged at this, denouncing his son in unmeasured terms, 
and cut to the quick by what he considered an exhibition of 
the commonplace in his well-bred heir, for whom he had 
intended a totally different career. Believing that absence 
would break up the interest in Quakers he sent his son 
abroad where he remained until the war with the Dutch, 
when his father recalled him and presented him at Court. 

Everything pointed to a life consistent with the follies 
of the day. Young Penn was a man of fashion, the son of 
a knight, who was the intimate friend of the Duke of York 
a possible king. Pepys refers to him as follows: "Mr. 
Penn, Sir William s son, is come back from France, and 
come to visit my wife, a most modish person grown, she 
says, a fine gentleman." 

Admiral Penn now went to sea in command of the fleet 
and young Penn accompanied him as a member of the staff. 
Later he was ordered home with dispatches to the King, and 
sent to Ireland with letters to the Duke of Ormond. Every 
effort was made by Sir William to keep his son from the 
Quakers; but the latter again met Thomas Loe and all the 
latent interest in the Quakers was revived. Later young 
Penn was arrested at a Quaker meeting in Cork. The Earl 
of Ossory procured his release, but notified the Admiral that 
his son had turned Quaker. Sir William ordered him home. 
Young Penn obeyed the summons, but was accompanied 
by Josiah Cole, a kinsman of Christopher Holder. The 
two presented their case warmly, but the Admiral would not 
hear to his son becoming a Quaker and was greatly enraged. 
He even attempted to disown him, but his mother interceded, 
a truce was declared, and the young man was allowed to 
remain at home. 


Later he met George Fox and during a conversation, he 
asked if it was right for him to wear a sword, a fashion 
he still held to. Fox replied, "Wear it as long as thou 
canst." A short time after, they met again and Fox observ 
ing that the sword was gone, asked, "Where is thy sword?" 
Penn replied, "I took thy advice, I wore it as long as I 

William Penn from now on became a strong virile figure 
in the Society, and at the age of twenty-four he was con 
sidered one of its ablest preachers. Having been finely 
educated, a French and Italian scholar, a man of the highest 
culture, he soon began to write on the subject of Quaker 
ism," and his list of books and pamphlets is a very long one. 
While a prisoner in the Tower of London, 1668, he wrote, 
"No Cross, No Crown," and with Barclay, author of the 
"Apology," etc., and Christopher Holder, author of various 
works and the first "Declaration of Faith of Quakers," he 
ranks as one of the distinguished literary lights of the Early 

Now came the re-enactment of the Conventicle, October, 
1670, by which fib religious ceremony was allowed which 
differed from that of the Church of England, an act which 
was designed to force England backward into the dark ages, 
and to bring untold suffering upon the Quakers, who could 
not obey it. 

They ignored it everywhere, and among the first to be 
arrested after its passage, were William Penn and William 
Meade ; the charge being a strange one for men who, if any 
thing, were protagonists of the principle of eternal, uncom 
promising peace. The following is an extract from the 
charge: "With force and arms unlawfully and tumultuously 


assemble and congregate themselves together to the disturb 
ance of the peace of the said Lord and King, to the great 
terror and disturbance of many of his liege people and sub 
jects," etc. The jury was forced to bring in a verdict against 
Penn and Meade, and they were sent to Newgate from 
which Penn was released by his father, who in the end be 
came reconciled to him, paying the fine. 

Admiral Penn died after a distinguished career. Soon 
after, the son was again thrown into Newgate, where he 
found Edward Gove. William Penn was released in six 
months, and again sailed for Holland and Germany. On 
his return he married Gulielma Maria Springett, daughter 
of Sir William Springett, who was also the choice of Thomas 
Ellwood, one of the finest characters in all Quaker history. 
They lived at Rickmans worth, near Chalfont, the home of 
Sir Isaac Pennington. Penn again went to Holland where 
he held meetings in the home of Princess Elizabeth of the 
Palatinate, daughter of the King of Bohemia and grand 
daughter of James I. She became deeply interested in the 
Quakers and their work, as the following letter to William 
Penn indicates: 

"Herford, May 2, 1677. 

This, friend, will tell you that both your letters were 
very acceptable, together with your wishes for my obtain 
ing those virtues which may make me a worthy follower of 
our great King and Saviour, Jesus Christ. What I have 
done for his true disciples is not so much as a cup of cold 
water; it affords them no refreshment; neither did I expect 
any fruit of my letter to the duchess of L. as I have ex 
pressed at the same time unto B. F. But since R. B. de 
sired I should write it, I could not refuse him, nor omit to 


do anything that was judged conducing to his liberty, though 
it should expose me to the derision of the world. But this 
a mere moral man can reach at; the true inward graces are 
yet wanting in 

Your affectionate friend, 

And also a letter to George Fox: 

"Dear Friend, 

"I cannot but have a tender love to those that love the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to whom it is given not only to be 
lieve in him, but also to suffer for him: therefore your let 
ter, and your friend s visit, have been both very welcome 
to me. I shall follow their and your counsel, as far as God 
will afford me light and unction; remaining still, 
"Your loving friend, 

"Herford. the 3Oth of August, 1677." 

In 1671, Margaret Fell, now the wife of George Fox, was 
in jail, but he procured her release by an appeal to the King 
and soon after sailed for America, returning the following 
summer or in 1673. Many Friends went to Bristol to meet 
him, among them William Penn, John Rouse, his wife s 
son-in-law, Thomas Lower, and many more. From here, 
he went to London and was in a short time again in jail at 
Worcester, where he nearly died before his friends procured 
his release. Up to this time over two hundred Quakers had 
died in the jails of England or since the restoration of 
Charles the Second, yet the Society was constantly increas 
ing in numbers and enlarging its sphere of influence. This 
apparently enraged other non-conformists who joined in the 
fray as enemies of the defenceless Quakers who were 


whipped, beaten, struck down in the streets, thrust into vile 
dungeons, their women insulted, brutally attacked, their 
statements misquoted; in fact, every possible insult and deg- 
redation was thrust upon them. Yet they remained pas 
sive, protesting in prayerful rebuke, which often incensed 
their enemies more than would a muscular retaliation. 

There is nothing more remarkable in the history of the 
world, than the gradual winning of this Quaker battle by 
passive resistance. The Quakers merely gripped their Faith 
and pressed on, eternally on. Released from jail, they im 
mediately began to preach or visit meetings, refused to take 
an oath, and were thrown into jail again; until the author 
ities were often at their wits end and in desperation released 

George Fox had earned a reputation not at all compatible 
with his gentle nature. He was supposed to possess mirac 
ulous powers, and many ignorant Royalists believed that he 
had the "evil eye;" so many of his prophetic sayings came 
true that they were afraid of him. This superstition was 
seized upon by the non-conformist enemies and enlarged 
upon to extraordinary extremes. In the meantime, Fox 
was devising schools for the children of Friends. One for 
girls was established at Shacklewall; another boarding school 
for boys at Waltham. As years went on, these were in 
creased in England and in the colonies, and by the end of 
the seventeenth century there were over twenty seminaries 
for both sexes, boarding and day schools, with learned 
Friends at their head. 

Politically this was the period of the famous Cabal, the 
King s cabinet being composed of live men the initial let 
ters of whose names spelled Cabal. They were Clifford, 


Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale. The three 
latter were famous for their infamy in a moral sense, at a 
time when immorality was epidemic among politicians and 
courtiers. It can be readily appreciated, that the Quakers, 
who viewed such lives with horror, could expect little from 
a King with advisers of this type, who laughed at the Qua 
kers and considered them in the light of a public nuisance, 
to be gotten rid of easily, if possible, but to be crushed. 

In following the extraordinary struggle of the Quakers 
for liberty of conscience in the seventeenth century, the de 
tails of which would, if properly elaborated, fill twenty vol 
umes of the size of this, the reader is advised to read the 
intimate history of England, especially under Charles the 
Second, or the Restoration, to more fully appreciate the 
strength, vitality and enthusiasm of the Quaker cause 
in the face of death, persecution and financial ruin. Men 
like Buckingham, who had exhausted all the sensual pleas 
ures, now were toying with a game of chess, whose pawns 
were living kings, emperors, queens and heirs apparent. We 
have the spectacle of political intrigue that amazes the 
world to-day, of Louis of France manipulating the cords at 
tached to the British puppets, and making them move ac 
cording to his dictation and sovereign will. It was a mar 
velous illustration of what a great people will endure at 
the hands of a sovereign, a figure head, which they have 
been taught for centuries to almost worship as a pseudo 

One day, we haw the spectacle of George Fox, Chris 
topher Holder and Thomas Ellwood appealing to the King 
to stand for high morality and liberty of conscience. The 
next we see Charles receiving the woman spy sent by Louis 


of France, Louisa of Querouaille, who is promptly permit 
ted to triumph over all her rivals, to quote Macauley, and 
is created Duchess of Portsmouth, to the eternal disgrace of 
the sovereign who did not hesitate to prostitute the highest 
gift in his power to this liaison laid and planned by France. 

To make matters more difficult for the Quakers, the King 
had consummated the Treaty of Dover, in which he prom 
ised to make public profession of Roman Catholicism, and, 
as a result, terrible persecution of Catholics in England fol 

English history was a romance at this time with its re 
markable men, as Sir George Jeffries, the Earl of Claren 
don, the Duke of York, Lord Halifax, the Earl of South 
ampton, the Earl of Shaftsbury, the Duke of Ormond, 
Lawrence Hyde, Sidney Godolphin, Viscount Stafford and 
Essex, Henry, Earl of Peterborough, Lord Guilford, the 
Earl of Rochester and many more, with their marvelous 
systems of intrigue, their plots and counter-plots, their re 
ligions and vices. It reads like a miracle to-day, and we 
can but marvel that Quakerism, a system of absolute piety 
of the most uncompromising type and character, could for a 
moment hold its ground in a land given over so completely 
to sensuality., intrigue and unbridled debauchery. 

The conditions were absolutely impossible for the con 
tinuance and perpetuity of any true religion which could 
not be welded into a great political juggernaut, as Catholic 
ism or Episcopalianism was at the time, each striving for 
supremacy in a warfare at once disgraceful and terrible. 
The awful cry of no popery was heard amid the slaughter 
of the innocents; or again, acts were passed forbidding all 
forms which did not accord to the Episcopal church. It 


was pre-eminently not the golden era of the non-conformists ; 
yet as the skies grew red and lowering, George Fox redoubled 
his efforts, sent out more ministers, flooded England, Wales, 
Scotland and Ireland with them, crossed and re-crossed Eng 
land; now preaching to the common people, again directing 
an appeal to the King, rebuking the Pope for the acts of 
Catholicism, writing countless protests to judges, justices, 
generals of the army, commanders of the fleet, governors of 
prisons. Certainly this man with all the mistakes he may 
have made, due to over enthusiasm, presented a noble fig 
ure, illumining an age of debauchery with the splendors of 
pure goodness, purity and a Christ-like example. 

It has been the custom in the nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries for sensational writers and preachers to picture 
in the public imagination the return of Christ, and to ask 
what Christ would do. If the reader will carefully study 
the Journal of George Fox, he or she will see that this plain 
man was attempting to solve this question of the ages. He 
was a man of the people, of moderate means, but he pos 
sessed as pure and sweet a heart and soul as man ever 
had, and he carried into England in the seventeenth century 
the best imitation of Christ s life the world has ever seen. 
He made no pretense of Christ-like attributes. He knew 
himself to be an humble seeker after truth and religious 
liberty; but he endeavored earnestly to live the simple life 
that Christ lived, which, stripped of all ambiguity, is the 
doctrine of the Quaker. When persecuted the most, when 
in deepest despair, George Fox devised methods to educate 
the young and to provide them with trades. The latter 
is referred to in the following: 


"My dear Friends, 

"Let every Quarterly Meeting make inquiry through all 
the Monthly and other meetings, to know all friends that 
are widows, or others, that have children fit to put out to 
apprenticeships ; so that once a quarter you may set forth an 
apprentice from your quarterly meeting; so you may set 
forth four in a year, in each county, or more, if there be 
occasion. This apprentice, when out of his time, may help 
his father or mother, and support the family that is decayed ; 
and, in so doing, all may come to live comfortably. This 
being done in your quarterly meetings, ye will have knowl 
edge through the county, in the monthly and particular 
meetings, of masters fit for them ; and of such trades as their 
parents or you desire, or the children are most inclinable to. 
Thus being placed out to Friends, they may be trained up 
in truth ; and by this means in the wisdom of God, you may 
preserve Friends children in the truth, and enable them to 
be a strength and help to their families, and nursers and 
preservers of their relations in their ancient days. 

"Thus also, things being ordered in the wisdom of God, 
you will take off a continual maintenance, and free your 
selves from such cumber. For in the country, ye know, ye 
may set forth an apprentice for a little to several trades, as 
bricklayers, masons, carpenters, wheel rights, ploughrights, 
tailors, tanners, curriers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, nailers, 
butchers, weavers of linen and woolen, stuffs and serves, etc. 
And you may do well to have a stock in your quarterly meet 
ings for that purpose. All that is given by any friends at 
their decease, except it be given to some particular use, per 
son, or meeting, may be brought to the public stock for that 
purpose. This will be a way for the preserving of many 


that are poor among you; and it will be a way of making 
up poor families. In several counties it is practised already. 
Some quarterly meetings set forth two apprentices; and 
sometimes the children of others that are laid on the parish. 
You may bind them for fewer or more years, according to 
their capacities. In all things the wisdom of God will 
teach you ; by which ye may help the children of poor friends, 
that they may come to support their families, and preserve 
them in the fear of God. So no more, but my love in the 
everlasting Seed, by which ye will have wisdom to order 
all things to the glory of God. 

G. F." 
"London, the first of the nth month, 1669." 

During these years, William Penn s writings aroused the 
flame ever and anon against the Quakers. Pepys thus refers 
to one of his early books: "Here we met with Mr. Batelier 
and his sister, and so they home with us in two coaches, and 
there at my house staid and supped, and this night my book 
seller Shrewsbury comes, and brings my books of Martyrs, 
and I did pay him for them, and did this night make the 
young women before supper to open all the volumes for me. 
Read a ridiculous, nonsensical book set out by Will Pen, 
for the Quakers ; but so full of nothing but nonsense, that I 
was ashamed to read in it." 

One of his books, procured his imprisonment in the Tower. 
The prelates were much offended, claiming that he was 
guilty of treason, and would have been well pleased to have 
seen him go to the block. Penn appealed to Lord Arling 
ton, Secretary of State, and despite an atrocious attempt to 
entangle him, was released after eight months in the Tower 
without trial or conviction, the Bishops of London assuring 


him that he must recant or die in the Tower, suggestive that 
freedom of conscience was still a misnomer. 

In 1681 George Fox and his wife were sued for tithes 
which they had not paid for years. During the trial it came 
out that in the marriage settlement of Margaret Fell and 
George Fox, the latter had agreed in writing not to inter 
fere with her personal estate in any way, a condition so 
unique that Sewell says the judges wondered at it, and in 
the act we see one of the first recognitions of the rights of 
women to their own property. 

About this time William Penn consummated his great 
plan of a Quaker colony in America. The King owed Ad 
miral Penn a large sum of money within all probability, a 
friendly feeling, and it may be assumed a desire to get rid 
of Quakers at any cost, and due to the influence of James, 
Duke of York, a friend of his father, the King gave a pat 
ent to a vast tract in America to Penn, and his heirs in 
perpetuam, which became the great state of Pennsylvania, 
thus obliterating the personal debt of $80,000. 

In this year, 1682, Christopher Holder, who was travel 
ling through England preaching, was arrested for refusing 
to take the oath of allegiance, carried before Justice Hunt 
and sent to jail. Two days later he was again presented 
with the opportunity to take the oath of the Charter Ses 
sions, but again refused, stating that he would "affirm" 
but would not take the oath, as it was against his religious 
belief. After a time he was released, but while preaching 
at Bellipool, one Giles Ball of Somersetshire, keeper of the 
Ilchester jail, entered and ordered him to desist, and upon 
his refusal arrested him and threw him into jail, from 
which he was removed to Launceston Castle in Cornwall, 


where, apparently, he was kept a year. In all, he spent over 
four years of his life in England in various jails, which with 
the suffering he had endured in America, made serious in 
roads upon his health. 

An interesting character during the time of Fox and Penn 
was Sir John Rodes of Barlbrough, a young friend and 
protege of William Penn. One of Penn s letters to Sir 
John* gives an excellent idea of his literary taste, and his 
views of how a young man should divide up his time : 


the ~ 1693. 

"Dear Friend, I hope I shall always be ready to show 
thee how much I desire thy prosperity every way. It is 
long I have travelled in my spirit for thee and know 
ing the temptations that would grow upon thee and the evill 
days by means thereof that must attend thee, I have prayed 
that thy faith fail not, and that thou faintest not by the 
way; for thou hast been called to a glorious mark, even that 
of an Heirship with the Beloved of God in Eternal Habita 
tions. The Lord preserve thee to the end. Now as to w* 
I mean at C. Mars.f it is this: a Course of Method of life 
as far as we can be our own, I would divide my days by the 
week, and then the times of the day, and when I had Con 
sidered and divided my business, I would proportion it to 
my time. Suppose, for example, thus: % to Religion, in 
Waiting, Reading, Meditating, &c. . . . V^ to some 

*Footnote. The letter is contained in "A Quaker Post Bag," by 
Mrs. G. L. Lampson, Longmans, Green & Co., Publishers, to whom 
I am indebted for permission to quote it. 
t Christmas. 


generall study; y\ to meals and some Bodily Labour as 
Gardning, or some Mathematical 1 Exercise. 54 to serve 
friends or neighbours and look after my Estate ; It prevents 
consumption of time and confusion in Business. The books 
I spoke of that are most valuable for a moderate Library 
are as follows: For Religion the Bible, Friends Books, of 
w ch I advise an exact collection, binding the small up in 
vollumes together. The Books of Martyrs. For Contro 
versy between Pap and Protestants Bp Jewel against Hard 
ing. L 1 Faulkland of Infalibility, and Chillingworth. For 
Devotion the Scriptures, Friend s Epistles, Austin his City 
of God, his Soliloquies, Thorn a Kempis, Bona, a late piece 
call Unum Necessarium, and a Voyce crying out of the Wil 
derness writt in Q Elizabeth s time; of Books forrunning 
Friends appearance, T. Saltmarsh, W. Dell, W. Erberry, 
Goad, Coppins, & Webster, his Works. For Religious His 
tory Eusebius, bp Usher s Annals, Cradock of the Apostles, 
History of the Waldenses S r Sam Morland s of the Per 
secutions in Piedmont. Of mixt & generall History 
Prideaux, thin quarto, Petavius, a thin folio. Afterwards 
Dr Howel late of Cambridge, not forgetting S r W. 
Raleigh s for his Preface sake. For natural Philosophy 
Enchiridion Physical and some of Sqr Boyle s Works. For 
Mathematicks, Leyborn. For Physick, Riverius. For the 
Gall, Way, and for Chymistry le Faber, unless a Practi 
tioner, then, Helmont, Glauber, Crollius, Hartman Scroder 
& Tibaut &c. ; and for Improvem ts of Lands & Gardens 
Blith & Smith, Systema Agriculturae, English and French 
Gardener. For Policy, above all Books, the Bible, that is, 
the old Testam 4 writings, Thucydes, Tacitus, Council of 
Trent, Machieval, Thynanus, Grotius s Annals. Of our 


own Country Daniel and Trussel. S r F r Bacon Life of H. 
7 th Ld. Herbert s H. 8 th and Camden Eliz. S r Thorn. 
Moor s Utopia. Nat. Bacon. Hist, of the Gov. of E. Sad 
dler s Rights of the Kingdom, S r Rob Cotton s Works, the 
Pamphlets since the Reformation pro et con. to be had at 
the Acorn, in Pauls Yard, to be bound up together, com- 
prisable in about 6 quarto vollumes. Rushworth s Collec 
tions, tho large, are not unusefull, being particular, and our 
own History and the best since 30, w ch is the chiefest time 
of Action. But I will add one, more, the English Memor 
ials, by the Lord Whitlock, a great man, and who dyed a 
Confessor to truth, in w ch thy Grandfather is handsomely 
mentioned. *Thes for the main Body of a study will be 
sufficient and very accomplishing. 

"There are other Books of use and vallue, as Selden of 
Tythes, Tayler s Liberty of Prophesy, Goodwin s Antiqui 
ties, Cave s Primative Christianity, Morals of the Gentiles, 
Plutarch, Seneca, Epictetus, M. A. Antoninus. Also Lives, 
as Plutarch, Stanly s of the Philosophers, Lloyd s State 
Worthys, Clark s Lives and Winstanley s England s 
Worthys. There are 6 or 8 Books Publisht by one R. B. 
as the History of England, S and J surprising Miracles, 
Admirable Curiositys & that have profitable diversion in 
them. But if I were to begin again, I would buy as I read, 
or but a few more at least, and in Reading have a pencil, 
and w 1 is of Instruction or observable, mark it in the Mar- 
gent with the most leading word and collect those memo 
randums with their Pages into a clean sheet put into the 

* Probably his great-grandfather, Sir Gervase Clifton. See 
Whitlock s "Memorials of the English Affairs, p. 185." 


Book or a Pocket Book for that purpose, w ch is the way 
to fasten w l one reads and to be master of other men s sense. 

"Allways write thy name in the Title Pages, if not year 
and cost, that if lent, the Owner may be better remembered 
and found. Observe to put down in a Pocket-Book, for 
that purpose, all openings of moment w ch are usually short, 
but full and lively; for I have few things to remember with 
more trouble then forgetting of such irrecoverable Thoughts 
and Reflections. I have lost a vollume of them. They come 
without toyle or beating the Brain, therefore the purer, and 
upon all subjects, Nature, Grace, and Art. Thou art young, 
now is the time and use it to the utmost profit. Oh! had I 
thy time in all likelihood to live, w l could I not do. There 
fore, prize thy time. I am now 26 years beyond thy age, 
and tho I have done and sufferd much, I could be a better 
Husband of that most precious Jewel. The Lord direct 
thee in thy ways, and he will, if thee take him for thy Guide, 
and if he be the Guide of thy Youth, to be sure he will not 
leave thee in thy old age. To him I committ thee and to the 
word of his Grace with w ch is wisdom and a sound under 
standing that makes men Gentlemen indeed and accomplisht 
to inherit both Worlds, for the Earth is for the Meek, and 
Heaven for the Poor and Pure in Heart and Spirit. 

"Give my love and respects to thy Mothet and Rela 
tions; all your welfare in the Lord I wish and am affection 
ately Thy Cordial friend. W. P." 

"My dear love salutes friends and J. Gr. especially. 

"My indisposition with the toothache abliged me to use 
an other hand. Farewell. 

"I forgot Law Books, as the Statutes at Large and 
abridged-Doctors and Students, Horn s Mirror of Justice, 


Cook s Institutes, the Compleat Justice, Sheriff, Constable & 
Clark, and of Wills, Godolphin, Justinians Institutes is an 
excellent book also/ 

Lord Macaulay s attitude to the Quaker at the time of 
Fox and Penn, and especially when he writes of the latter, 
is open to just comment and criticism. It is interesting as 
showing the anti-Quaker side. Hayward says in his critique 
of the great historian: "Give Lord Macauley a hint, a 
fancy, an insulated fact or phrase, a scrap of a journal or 
the tag end of a song, and on it, by the abused prerogative 
of genius, he would construct a theory of national or per 
sonal character, which should confer undying glory, or in 
flict indelible disgrace." 

In this connection, Macauley s confession of faith is in 
teresting : 

"My confession of faith is very simple and explicit, and 
is at the service of anybody who asks for it. I do not agree 
with the High Churchmen in thinking that the state is al 
ways bound to teach religious faith to the people. I do not 
agree with the Voluntaries in thinking that it is always 
wrong in a State to support a religious establishment. I 
think the question a question of expediency, to be decided 
on a comparison of good and evil effects. I do not think 
it necessary to inquire whether, if there were no established 
kirk in Scotland, it would be fit to set one up. I find a kirk 
established. I am not prepared to pull it down ; I will leave 
it what it has, but I will arm it with no new powers. I 
will impose no new burdens on the people for its support. 
I will make no distinction as to civil matters between the 
Churchman and the Dissenter. There are some questions 
which relate purely to the internal constitution of the 


church. Those questions ought, in my opinion, to be de 
cided with a view to the efficiency and respectability of the 

The historian comments as follows: "But though he, 
Penn, harangued on his favorite theme, with a copiousness 
that tired his hearers out, and though he assured them that 
the approach of a golden age of religious liberty had been 
revealed to him by a man who was permitted to converse 
with Angels," no impression was made on the Prince. The 
reference obviously refers to George Fox, and would have 
been important if true. Again, "Penn was at Chester on 
a pastoral tour. His popularity and authority among his 
brethren had greatly declined, since he had become a tool 
of the King of the Jesuits." Macauley obtains this from 
Gerard Croese "Etiam Quakeri Pennum non amplius, ut 
ante, ita amabant ac magnifaciebant, quidam aversabantur 
ac fugiebant." Bonrepaux writes practically the same to 
Seignelay: "Penn, chef des Quakers, qu on sait etre dans 
les inter ets du Roi d 1 Angleterre, est si fort decrie parmi ceux 
de son parti qu ils n onf plus aucune confiance en lui" 

Yet none of the journals of the time written or kept by 
those intimate with Penn substantiate this. On the con 
trary, I find that Henry Gouldney writing to Sir John 
Rodes, says "As to our friend, W. P., he was fully clerd 
without any objection the last term I shoewd him thine, 
and his dear love is to thee and thy Mother." Penn is also 
charged by Macauley with being the King s representative 
in the matter of the possible instillation of the Papal Bishop 
of Oxford at Magdalene College. There was nothing dis 
honorable in this service, as Penn was the acknowledged 
friend and intimate of the King, and he was an enlightened 


gentleman who stood with his friends, whether Papists or 
Quakers without shame." 

Again in 1690, under William and Mary, Macauley says, 
"The conduct of Penn was scarcely less scandalous. He was 
a zealous and busy Jacobite; and his new way of life had 
been to moral purity. It was hardly possible to be at once 
a consistent Quaker and a courtier; but it was utterly im 
possible to be at once a consistent Quaker and a conspirator. 
It is melancholy to relate that Penn, while professing to 
consider that even defensive war as sinful, did everything 
in his power to bring a foreign army into the heart of his 
own country. He wrote to inform James that the adher 
ents of the Prince of Orange dreaded nothing so much as 
an appeal to the sword, and that, if England were now in 
vaded from France or from Ireland, the number of Royalists 
would appear to be greater than ever. Avaux thought this 
letter so important that he sent a translation of it to Lewis." 

Penn was arrested after this as he came from the funeral 
of George Fox, but his explanation was accepted by Wil 
liam, as he boldly declared that James was his friend. 
Macauley says, "Penn s proceedings had not escaped the ob 
servation of the government. Warrants had been out 
against him; and he had been taken into custody; but the 
evidence against him had not been such as would support 
a charge of high treason; he had, as, with all his faults he 
deserved to have, many friends in every part; therefore 
soon regained his liberty, and returned to his plots." 

There is evidently so much prejudice in the mind of the 
historian regarding William Penn that it is difficult to jus 
tify him, by a fair balancing of the facts and conditions. 
Among those who lived with him, Penn was a high-minded, 


pure and honorable gentleman. Even Pepys in his diary, 
inimitable for its mimitic descriptions, takes a fling at Penn: 
"Here comes Will Pen to call upon my wife. He is now 
a Quaker or some much melancholy thing." To be a Qua 
ker in the time of Pepys was indeed a melancholy circum 

That the Quakers were more or less fanatical, that in 
their zeal they made too much of non-essentials, "wearing 
the hat," "taking oaths," saying "thee and thou," can be 
admitted; but it should be remembered that these people 
were endeavoring to live the life outlined by Christ, and 
that they accepted the interpretation of the Bible literally. 
"Swear not at all," meant to them that one was not to take 
an oath under any circumstances. It was a non-essential 
from the standpoint of 1913, as were many other so-called 
"peculiarities." It was the essence of the religion of the 
Friends in the time of Fox, but when the Quakers are crit 
icised in the twentieth century as mad fanatics, as insulting 
the clergy, as prophesying evil to those who abused them, 
as insulting men in power and the nobility by writing to 
them and pointing out the error of their ways, it should 
always be borne in mind what the Quaker movement really 
meant. It was not a propaganda to establish a new religion, 
it was not an attempt to establish a new sect or church; 
but was a mighty protest, a tremendous rebuke against the 
sensuality, immorality, the public and private debauchery 
of the times. 

With marvelous perseverance these humble folks seemed 
to have been called upon to introduce in 1650 and later, 
the code of morals recognized as essential by every Chris 
tian church in 1912-13. They launched a twentieth century 


code of morals two hundred and sixty years ago. Little 
wonder they were looked upon as one would a mad dog, 
and an attempt made in England and America to exter 
minate them. Little wonder their ears were cut off, their 
tongues bored, their foreheads branded, and laws conceived 
to render it legal. The Quakers were looked upon as mon 
sters and extremely dangerous. Let us glance at the reason 
why their actions so amazed the rest of the world. 

It is a sorry picture, this cause that forced George Fox 
to raise his voice and cry to Heaven for reform, and it can 
only be understood by glancing at the actual picture of the 

To obtain an idea of social customs in the time of Fox, 
we must imagine the best society to-day with every moral 
sense degraded. One has but to read Macauley, or better 
Pepys, or any of the works of the time. Fisher, the bio 
grapher of Penn, says the age was full of the most extraord 
inary contradictions existing side by side. Such men as 
Milton or Dryden, Locke or Penn, daily heard language and 
saw spectacles on the streets that would amaze and horrify 
the modern world. The private life of Charles II. was well 
known as that of a degenerate of the lowest type. While 
the King s informers were denouncing Fox for wearing his 
hat, the King s "lords and ladies" are said to have indulged 
in disgraceful orgies. It is a gross story of an age when 
literature, the stage, and conversation were low and debased, 
and morality at such a low ebb that it existed but in name 
among the nobility and upper classes. It was this state of 
affairs, the every day open orgies of the aristocracy and their 
imitators, which oppressed Fox and spurred him on to re 
buke the world and demand a return to true Christianity 


and moral living. The Quakers could not take to the 
sword as did Cromwellians, so they unsheathed their 
tongues and laid about them, in the high-ways, at bars, 
inns, cock and bull fights, bull and badger baitings, at prize 
fights, in churches, cathedrals, in letters to kings and 
popes; and so loud a noise did they create, so keen were 
their vocal sallies and thrusts that they arrested the atten 
tion of the entire world, and framed a protest that still 
hangs high among the stars of the modern pagan night. 

Fox and his followers were sometimes insulting; they 

seemed to outrage decency even according to -modern 

standards by interfering with clergymen in churches; they 
doubtless did break the laws by refusing to pay tithes, 
attending conventicles, refusing to unhat in the presence of 
superiors; but it would be difficult to find a sane man or 
woman to-day, who after understanding the moral situation 
in the seventeenth century, who would not say that the 
Quakers were entirely justified in their actions. 

The peculiar quality of justice dealt out to the Quakers 
is well shown in the case of William Penn, who was being 
tried for wearing his hat: 

"Penn. Shall I plead to an indictment that hath no 
foundation in law^ If it contain the law you say I have 
broken, why should you decline to produce that law, since 
it will be impossible for the jury to determine or agree to 
bring in their verdict, who hath not the law produced, by 
which they shall measure the truth of this indictment, and 
the guilt or contrary, of my act. 

Recorder. You are a saucy fellow; speak to the indict 

Penn. I say it is my place to speak to the matter of the 



law; I am arraigned a prisoner; my liberty, which is next to 
life itself, is now concerned; you are many mouths and ears 
against me, it is hard, I say again, unless you shew me, and 
the people, the law you ground your indictment upon, I 
shall take it for granted, your proceedings are merely 

Observer. (At this time several upon the bench urged, 
hard upon the prisoner, to bear him down.) 

Recorder. The question is, whether you are guilty of 
this indictment 1 ? 

Penn. The question is not whether I am guilty of this 
indictment but whether this indictment be legal. It is too 
general and imperfect to answer, to say it is the common 
law, unless we know both where and what it is; for where 
there is no law, there is no transgression, and that law which 
is not in being, is so far from being common, that it is no 
law at all. 

Recorder. You are an impertinent fellow; will you 
teach the Court what law is? It s lex non scripta, that 
which many have studied thirty or forty years to know, and 
would you have me tell you in a moment*? 

Penn. Certainly, if the common law be so hard to be 
understood, it s far from being common, but if the Lord 
Coke in his Institutes be of any consideration, he tells us 
that common law is common right; and that common right 
is the great charter of privileges, confirmed 9 Hen. III. 
29; 25 Edw. III. 8; Coke s Insts. 2 p, 56. 

Recorder. Sir, you are a troublesome fellow, and it is 
not for the honor of the Court to suffer you to go on. 

Penn. I have asked but one question, and you have not 
answered me; though the rights and privileges of every 
Englishman be concerned in it. 


Recorder. Take him away; my Lord, if you take not 
some course with this pestilent fellow, to stop his mouth, 
we shall not be able to do anything tonight. 

Mayor. Take him away, take him away ! turn him into 
the Baledock." 

The inclination to quote the distinguished justice in the 
case of Bardell against Pickwick, in a parallel case, is almost 




The decade between 1676 and 1686 was a momentous 
period among the Quakers and in the history of England. 
It saw the founding of Pennsylvania. The first Latin 
version of Barclay s "Apology" was now issued, to be fol 
lowed by an English edition in two years. Bunyon was 
writing his "Pilgrim s Progress." Now came the intrigues 
which led to the death of Charles the Second and the coro 
nation of James the First ; the latter, the first silver 
lining the Quakers had seen in the clouds of their 
persecution since the early days of Cromwell. The 
innumerable and violent warfares of intrigue carried 
on among the politicians who surrounded Charles, 
each minister trying to supplant the other, created 
a feeling of unrest in England difficult to allay. Lord 
Halifax, the Duke of York, William Penn s friend, shown 
with him in the famous picture of the old Bull and Mouth 
meeting, Godolphin and others, were notable figures. The 
King, vacilating, good naturedly Machiavellian to the last, 
compromised with the last courtier who had his attention. 
In all the kingdom there were but five million, two hundred 
thousand, five hundred subjects, not equal to the population 
of London to-day; yet the activity of the polititians in 
1682-3 in London alone, was oufof all proportion to its 
size; all of which had a direct relation to the Quakers who 


had enemies in every faction, clique or party. They were 
tossed about like a ball from one to another on every pos 
sible excuse, from saying thou to refusing to pay tithes, or 
from wearing their hats to attending meetings. 

The reign of Charles had been disastrous to Quakers in 
directly, but had stimulated Quakerism. They had flour 
ished under a series of tortures too disagreeable to include 
in a popular history when the book of Martyrs is designed 
especially to present such melancholy spectacles. It is dif 
ficult to imagine the England of these days, when cattle 
thieves (masstroopers) devasted the country and were kept 
down by bloodhounds to hunt them and the free booters. 
Famous country seats as well as farm houses, were fortified. 
Travelling abroad was unsafe. Macaulay says that no man 
ventured into the country without making his will. Yet 
Penn, Fox, Howgill, Pennington, Fell, Fox the younger, 
Christopher Holder, Burnyeat and others were always 
abroad. No one, not even judges, travelled without a 
guard. Food had to be carried, as there were no hotels or 
inns, and half civilized, wild people were to be met with 
here and there, a menace to the unprotected. The national 
revenue was less than a sixth of that of France, yet the ex 
cise in the last year of the King produced over two million 
dollars. Even the chimneys were taxed, and if the hearth 
money was not forthcoming, the furniture was taken, and 
the people evicted, as the last resort, and imprisoned for 
debt. A million dollars a year was taken from chimney 
taxes alone. 

"The good old dames, whenever they the chimney men 

Unto their nooks they haste away, 


Their pots and pipkins hide. 
There is not one old dame in ten, 
And search the nation through, 
But if you lack of chimney men, 
Will spare a curse or two." 


There was a small standing army of about six thousand 
men. A private could knock his colonel down, safe in the 
knowledge that his punishment would be that for mere as 
sault and battery. His pay, if in the foot guards, was ten 
pence per diem, and in the line nine pence. The army was 
certainly not a menace to the rights of the people now, and 
was a melancholy comparison to the splendid columns rear 
ed by Cromwell. On the other hand, the navy was the 
pride of the country though it would not have borne close 
investigation. The army and navy were kept on short al 
lowance, but, says Macaulay, "The personal favorites of the 
sovereign, his ministers, and the creatures of these ministers 
were gorged with public money." "From the nobleman 
who held the white staff and the great seal," says Macaulay, 
"down to the humblest tide water and gauger. What 
would now be called gross corruption was practiced without 
disguise and without reproach. Titles, places, commis 
sions, pardons were daily sold in the market overtly by the 
great dignitaries of the realm; and every clerk in every de 
partment imitated to the best of his power the evil ex 

Macaulay draws the following picture of the palace of 
King Charles in his History of England. "His palace 
had seldom presented a gayer or more scandalous appear 
ance than on the evening of Sunday, the first of February, 


1685. Some grave persons who had gone thither, after the 
fashion of that age, to pay their duty to their sovereign, and 
had expected that, on such a day, his court would wear a 
decent aspect, were struck with astonishment and horror. 
The great gallery of Whitehall, an admirable relic of the 
magnificence of the Tudors, was crowded with revellers and 
gamblers. The King sat there chatting and toying with 
three women whose charms were the boast, and whose vices 
were the disgrace, of three nations. Barbara Palmer, 
Duchess of Cleveland, was there, no longer young, but still 
retaining some traces of that superb and voluptuous lovli- 
ness which twenty years before overcame the hearts of all 
men. There too was the Duchess of Portsmouth, whose 
soft and infantile features were lighted up with the vivac 
ity of France. Hortensia Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin 
and niece of the great Cardinal, completed the group. She 
had been early removed from her native Italy to the court 
where her uncle was supreme. His power and her own at 
tractions had drawn a crowd of illustrious suitors round 
her. Charles himself, during his exile, had sought her hand 
in vain. No gift of nature or of fortune seemed to be 
wanting in her. Her face was beautiful with the rich 
beauty of the South, her understanding quick, her man 
ners graceful, her rank exalted, her possessions immense; but 
her ungovernable passions had turned all these blessings 
into curses. She had found the misery of an ill-assorted 
marriage intolerable, had fled from her husband, had aband 
oned her vast wealth, and, after having astonished Rome 
and Piedmont by her adventures, had fixed her abode in 
England. Her house was the favorite resort of men of 
wit and pleasure, who, for the sake of her smiles and her 


table, endured her frequent fits of insolence and ill humour. 
Rochester and Godolphin sometimes forgot the cares of 
state in her company. Barillon and Saint Evremond 
found in her drawing room consolation for their long ban 
ishment from Paris. The learning of Vossius, the wit of 
Waller, were daily employed to flatter and amuse her. But 
her diseased mind required stronger stimulants, and sought 
them in gallantry, in basset, and in usquebaugh. While 
Charles flirted with his three sultanas, Hortensia s French 
page, a handsome boy, whose vocal performances were the 
delight of Whitehall, and were rewarded by numerous pres 
ents of rich clothes, ponies, and guineas, warbled some amor 
ous verses. A party of twenty courtiers was seated at cards 
round a large table on which gold was heaped in 

This was the beginning of the end, and it was these 
things which created and perpetuated Quakerism and the 
non-conformists. The King died a Roman Catholic, ur 
bane, clever, good naturedly cynical to the last; passed 
away apologizing to the gathered throng of mourners that 
it had taken him so long to die. 

King James was a Catholic and Westminster Abbey now 
saw the Catholic service for the first time in over a century; 
yet on his accession in 1689 there was a general releasing of 
Quakers, not to celebrate the event, as was often the custom, 
but because the new king was more or less friendly and tol 
erant, and from now on their martyrdom gradually ceased. 
One of the earliest petitions King James received was from 
the Quakers who pointed out that fifteen hundred Quakers 
had been imprisoned, two hundred of them being women; 
that three hundred had died in prison. They gave a list of 


the old laws, under which the Quakers were abused and per 
secuted, which were as follows, and asked to have them 
taken from the statutes: 

"The 5th of Eliz. ch. 23, De excammunicato capiendo. 
The 23d of Eliz. ch. i, for twenty pounds per month. 
The 2Qth of Eliz. ch. 6, for continuation. 
The 35th of Eliz. ch. i, for abjuring the realm, on pain of 


The i st of Eliz. ch. 2, for twelve pence a Sunday. 
The 3d. of K. James ch. 4, for premunire, imprisonment 

during life, estates confiscated. 
The 13th and 14th of K. Charles, against Quakers, &c., 


The 22d. of K. Charles II. ch. i, against seditious con 

The iyth of K. Charles II. ch. 2, against non-conformists. 
The 27th of Hen. VIII. ch. 20, some few suffer thereupon. 

This was followed by several other petitions which cov 
ered more or less thoroughly all the persecutions to date. 
These addresses were presented to King James at Windsor 
by George Whitehead, Alexander Parker, Gilbert Latay 
and Francis Canfield. With this was a statement of the 
prisoners by county, Holderness and the Yorkshire district 
leading with two hundred and seventy-nine victims. 

The King s first movement in the direction of liberty of 
conscience was in the execution of the following proclama 
"James R. 

Whereas our most entirely beloved brother, the late king, 
deceased, had signified his intentions to his attorneys general 
for the pardoning of such of his subjects as had been suffer- 


ers in the late rebellion for their loyalty, or whose parents or 
nearest relations had been sufferers in the late rebellion for 
that cause, or who had themselves testified their loyalty and 
affection to the government, or were persecuted, convicted or 
indicted for not taking or refusing to take the oaths of al 
legiance and supremacy, or one of them, or had been prose 
cuted upon any writ, or any penalty, or otherwise, in any of 
the courts of Westminster Hall, or in any of the ecclesias 
tical courts, for not coming to church, or not receiving the 
sacrament : 

And whereas the several persons, whose names are 
mentioned in the schedule annexed to this our warrant, have 
produced unto us certificates for the loyalty and sufferings 
of them and their families: 

Now in pursuance of the said will of our said most dear 
brother, and in consideration of the sufferings of the said 
persons, our will and pleasure is, that you cause all process 
and proceedings, ex officio, as well against the said persons 
mentioned in the said schedule hereunto annexed, as against 
all other persons as shall hereafter be produced unto you, to 
be wholly superseded and stayed, and if any of the said 
persons be decreed or pronounced excommunicated, or have 
been so certified, or are in prison upon the writ excommuni- 
cato capiendo, for any of the causes aforesaid, our pleasure 
is, that you absolve and cause such persons to be absolved, 
discharged, or set at liberty, and that no process or proceed 
ings whatsoever be hereafter made in any court against any 
of the said persons for any cause before mentioned, until our 
pleasure therein shall be further signified. 

Given at our Court at Whitehall, this eighteenth of 
April, 1685, in the first year of our reign. 


To all Archbishops and Bishops; to the Chancellors and 
Commissioners; and to all arch-deacons and their officials, 
and all other ordinarys and persons executing ecclesiastical 

By his Majesty s command, 


With these pardons of Quakers came the release of a 
number of Colonial prisoners, one being the author s 
sixth great grandfather, Edward Gove, of Hampton 
Manor, Hampton, New Hampshire. Gove s crime had 
been to lead an insurrection against Governor Cranfield of 
New Hampshire, voluminous accounts of which are to be 
found in the colonial history of New England. Fiske 
says: "Within three years an arrogant and thieving ruler, 
Edward Cranfield, had goaded New Hampshire to acts of 
insurrection." Gove s estates were seized, and he was ban 
ished and imprisoned in the Tower of London for three 
years, serving with William Penn and others. On his 
pardon, his estates were restored to him. The pardon, which 
is herewith given, and a photograph of the original goes 
with the deed of the old manor house at Hampton, which 
has always remained in the family, being now owned by the 
Honorable William B. Gove of Salem, Mass. 

The pardon is as follows: 

"James R. 

Whereas Edward Gove was neare three yeares since ap 
prehended, tryed and Condemned for High Treason in our 
Colony of New England in America, and in June 1683 was 
committed Prisoner to the Tower of London. We have 
thought fit hereby to signify Our Will and Pleasure to you, 


that you cause him the said Edward Gove, to be inserted in 
the next General Pardon that shall come out for the poor 
Convicts of Newgate, without any condition of transporta 
tion, he giving such Security for his good behaviour as you 
shall think requisite, and for so doing this shall be your 
Warrant. Given at Our Court at Windsor the 14th day of 
September 1685 in the first Yeare of Our Reigne. 
To our Trusty and By his Majesty s command, 

Welbeloved, Sunderland. 

The Recorder of our City 
of London and all others 
whom it may concerne. 
Edward Gove to be inserted in ye Generall Pardon." 

Edward Gove s daughter Hannah, who married Abraham 
Clements, remained in Hampton, and the following is a 
letter written by the young Quaker to her father, the original 
of which is still in the family: 

"For my honoured father Edward Gove, in the Tower or 
elsewhere, I pray deliver with care. 

From Hampton the 3ist of ye First Month 1686. 

Dear and kind father, through God s good mercy having 
this opportunity to send unto ye, hoping in ye Lord yt ye 
art in good health. Dear father my desire is yt God in his 
good mercy would be pleased to keep ye both in body and 
soul. Loving father it is our duty to pray unto God that 
he would by his grace give us good hearts to pray unto him 
for grace and strength to support us so yt ye love of our 
hearts and souls should be always fixed on him Whereby we 
should live a heavenly Life while we are on yt earth so yt 
God s blessing may be with us always. As our Saviour 
Christs says in ye world ye shall have troubles but in mee 
ye shall have peace. 

dfe4*U> //ur<<-f f/ /i/ fr#f 6f**H^ 



So in ye Lord Jesus Christ ye true Light of the world there 
is peace, joy and Love, with strength and power and truth 
to keep all those yt trust in him. Dear father I hope God 
in his good mercy will be pleased to bring us together Again 
to his glory and our good interest ye. 

Let us hear from ye all opportunityes as may bee for it is 
great joy to hear from ye father. I have one little daugh 
ter. My husband is troubled with a could. He re 
members his duty to ye. 

So no more at present. I rest thy Dutiful son and 

Abraham Clements, 
Hannah (Gove) Clements. 

Not only were the Quakers now unmolested, but the 
tables were turned, and many of the spies, false witnesses, 
and guilty justices were arrested. One was John Hilton, 
who was committed on the following warrant here given, as 
the first rebuff to the swarm of enemies that had been at 
tracted to the Quakers and their meetings as informers for 
what they could make out of it: 

"To the Keeper of Newgate: 

Receive into your custody the body of John Hilton, here 
with sent you, being charged upon oath before me, for com 
pounding several warrants under my hand and seal, for 
levying for several sums of money on persons convicted for 
being at several conventicles in Kent, London, and Middle 
sex; and being also indicted for the same in the several 
counties aforesaid, and the bills found against him; and 
also that he, the said John Hilton, hath refused to obey the 
Right Honorable Sir Edward Herbert, Lord Chief 


Justice s Warrant. And him safely keep, until he shall be 

discharged by due course of law. And for so doing this 

shall be your warrant. 

Dated the 23rd of December 1685. 

Tho. Jenner, Recorder. 

Let notice be given to me before he be discharged." 

The unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of 
Charles, now appeared off the coast of England with several 
men of war, but was defeated in the engagement that fol 
lowed, and subsequently died on the block. The Earl of 
Argyle attempted a rebellion in Scotland against the King, 
and was sentenced to death by Jeffries who inspired Eng 
land with all the terror of a Jonathan Wild by the ferocity 
of his nature. The Friends now petitioned the Lords, 
Burgomasters and Rulers of the City of Embden in East 
Friesland, thanking them for a decision to permit Quakers 
to live in their city with complete liberty of conscience. 
The King now displayed his complete clemency by ordering 
the release of all Quakers everywhere in his dominions, even 
the West Indies and Barbadoes. One of the last petitions 
from imprisoned Quakers was as follows; it was signed by 
sixteen Friends who had been in jail from two to fifteen 
years : 

"To chief Justice Herbert and Judge Wright, assigned 
to hold assizes, and jail-delivery for the western circuit, at 
Wells for the county of Somerset, the thirtieth of the month 
called March, 1686. 

Several of the people called Quakers, now prisoners in 
the jail at Ivelchester,in the county of Somerset, on behalf 
of themselves and many others of the same people, in humil 
ity show, 


That, since the wise Disposer of all things hath ordered 
your employment in this honorable service, to relieve the 
oppressed, and deliver the captives; and since King James 
II that now is, hath committed part of his clemency to your 
custody, to distribute the same as the Lord hath inclined his 
heart; and having taken particular notice of our sufferings, 
and signified his will and pleasure, that we, the people com 
monly called Quakers, should receive the full benefit of his 
general pardon, with all possible ease; which grace and 
favor we do with all thankfulness, acknowledge to God as 
the chief author, who hath the hearts of kings at his dis 
posal; and to the King, as being ready herein to mind that 
which the Lord inclined his heart unto; and not without 
hope to find the like opportunity to render to you our hearty 
thanks, for the full accomplishment of that which our God 
allows, and the King so readily grants us; and also hearing 
the report of your nobility and moderation, in managing 
this weighty trust committed to you, we are emboldened 
thus to address ourselves, though in plainness of speech, yet 
in sincerity of heart, to lay before you, that we have several 
years been prisoners in the jail aforesaid, not for any plot 
ting against the king or government, or harm done to his sub 
jects; our peaceable lives have manifested our fidelity to the 
King, and love to our neighbors, it being contrary to our 
principles to do otherwise; but only for conscience sake, be 
cause in obedience to Christ Jesus, we dare not swear at all, 
or forbear to worship God, as he hath ordained, nor con 
form to those worships which we have no faith in; which 
to omit the one, or practice the other, we should therein sin, 
and so wound our consciences, and break our peace with 
God: and what good then should our lives do us, if we 
might enjoy so much of the world s favor and friendship. 


Our humble request therefore to you is, to consider and 
compassionate our suffering condition, and improve the 
power and authority that God and the king hath entrusted 
you withal, for our relief and liberty; we still resolving, and 
hoping through God s assistance, honor to the king, and hon 
esty to all his subjects, by our godly, humble, and peaceable 
conversation. The particular causes of our imprisonments 
are herewith attested, under our keeper s hand. And we 
further pray, that mercenary informers, and envious prose 
cutors against us, only for conscience sake, may, according 
to your wisdom and prudence, be discouraged from pros 
ecuting such actions; by which many industrious and con 
scientious families and persons are in danger of being ruined ; 
and we encouraged in our diligence in our respective 
callings, and may enjoy the benefit of our industry; and so 
shall we be the better to perform with cheerfulness the 
duties we owe to God, the king, and all men. The Lord 
guide you in judgment, and more and more incline your 
hearts to love mercy, and do justice, and grant you the re 
ward thereof; which is truly our desire and prayer." 

The Friends appreciating the clemency of the King, now 
drew up the following address: 

"To King James II., over England, &c. 

The humble and thankful address of several of the king s 
subjects, commonly called Quakers, in and about the city 
of London, on behalf of themselves and those of their com 

May it please the king, 

Though we are not the first in this way, yet we hope we 
are not the least sensible of the great favors we are come to 
present the king our humble, open, and hearty thanks for; 


since no people have received greater benefits, as well by 
opening our prison doors, as by his late excellent and 
Christian declaration for liberty of conscience; none having 
more severely suffered, nor stood more generally exposed to 
the malice of ill men, upon the account of religion; and 
though we entertain this act of mercy with all the ack 
nowledgements of a persecuted and grateful people ; yet we 
must needs say, it doth the less surprise us, since it is what 
some of us have known to have been the declared principle 
of the king, as well long before, as since, he came to the 
throne of his ancestors. 

And as we rejoice to see the day that a king of England 
should from his royal seat so universally assert this glorious 
principle, that conscience ought not to be constrained, nor 
people forced for matters of mere religion (the want of 
which happy conduct in government, has been the desola 
tion of countries, and reproach of religion) ; so we do with 
humble and sincere hearts, render to God first and the King 
next, our sensible acknowledgements; and because they can 
not be better expressed than in a godly, peaceable, and duti 
ful life, it shall be our endeavor, with God s help, always 
to approve ourselves the king s faithful and loving subjects; 
and we hope that after this gracious step the king hath made 
toward the union of his people, and security of their com 
mon interest, has had a due consideration, there will be no 
room left for those fears and jealousies that might render 
the king s reign uneasy, or any of them unhappy. 

That which remains, great prince, for us to do, is to be 
seech Almighty God, by whom kings reign, and princes 
decree justice, to inspire thee more and more with his ex 
cellent wisdom and understanding, to pursue this Christian 



design of ease to all religious dissenters, with the most agree 
able and lasting methods: And we pray God to bless the 
king, his royal f amil)- and people with grace and peace ; and 
that after a long and prosperous reign here, he may receive 
a better crown amongst the blessed. 

Which is the prayer of, &c." 

Another address was drawn up at the London Yearly 
Meeting, and was presented at Windsor by William Penn, 
who was now in London. 

"To King James II., over England, &c. 

The humble and grateful acknowledgements of his peace 
able subjects called Quakers, in this kingdom. 

From their usual T early Meeting in London, the igth 
day of the tfhird month, vulgarly called May, 1687. 

We cannot but bless and praise the name of Almighty 
God, who hath the hearts of princes in his hand, that he 
hath inclined the king to hear the cries of his suffering sub 
jects for conscience-sake; and we rejoice, that instead of 
troubling him with complaints of our sufferings, he hath 
given us so eminent an occasion to present him with our 
thanks. And since it hath pleased the king out of his great 
compassion, thus to commiserate our afflicted condition, 
which hath so particularly appeared by his gracious proclam 
ation and warrants last year, whereby above twelve hundred 
prisoners were released from their severe imprisonments, 
and many others from spoil and ruin in their estates and 
properties, and his princely speech in council, and Christian 
declaration for liberty of conscience, in which he doth not 
only express his aversion to all force upon conscience, and 
grant all his dissenting subjects an ample liberty to worship 


God, in the way they are persuaded is most agreeable to his 
will, but gives them his kingly word the same shall continue 
during his reign; we do, as our friends of this city have al 
ready done, render the king, our humble, Christian and 
thankful acknowledgements, not only on behalf of our 
selves, but with respect to our friends throughout England 
and Wales; and pray God with all our hearts, to bless and 
preserve thee, O king, and those under thee in so good a 
work : And as we can assure the king it is well accepted in 
the counties whence we came, so we hope the good effects 
thereof, for the peace, trade and prosperity of the kingdom, 
will produce such a concurrence from the parliament, as may 
secure it to our posterity in after-times; and while we live, 
it shall be our endeavor through God s grace, to demean our 
selves as in conscience to God, and duty to the king, we are 

His peaceable, loving, 

And faithful subjects." 

The king replied most affably as follows: 


I thank you heartily for your address. Some of 
you know, I am sure you do, Mr. Penn, that it was always 
my principle that conscience ought not to be forced, and 
that all men ought to have the liberty of their consciences. 
And what I have promised in my declaration, I will con 
tinue to perform as long as I live, and I hope before I die to 
settle it, so that after-ages shall have no reason to alter it." 
In this year on the thirteenth of April, Christopher Holder 
died. He was buried at Hazell, in the parish of Almonds- 
bury. He had been a minister for thirty-three years, and 


serves as an illustration of how the Friends lived down 
the terrible afflictions that were their lot. Crippled, beaten, 
scourged, banished, one ear cut off, he never once shrank 
from the conscientious line of his duty. Of him Bowden, 
the historian says. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the 
upright, for the end of that man is peace." 

The Quakers were now unmolested. They wore their 
hats in the presence of the king, and he recognized that it 
was a part of their belief, and paid no attention to it; but 
that he did see the humor of the situation is evident when a 
Quaker appeared before him and did not uncover his head, 
the king immediately removed his hat whereupon the Quaker 
said, "Thee need not remove thy hat to me." "You are 
not aware of the custom of court," replied the king. "In 
the royal presence but one may wear a hat. If you wear 
your s, I will remove mine," which he did, standing with it 
under his arm, doubtless later laughing heartily over the in 
cident. Whether the sober Quaker enjoyed it, or saw the 
point is a question. It is more than remarkable that James 
should so completely have given the Friends freedom of 
conscience; but giving him full credit for the best of 
motives, it must be remembered that he was influenced to 
some extent by the fact that the Papist enjoyed all the priv 
ileges of the freedom of conscience afforded the Quakers, 
and also that he was an intimate friend of William Penn. 

The King did not add to his popularity by permitting 
the Jesuits to erect a college in the Savoy, or by dispossess 
ing the Protestant fellows at Magdalene College, Oxford, in 
favor of Romanists. The climax came when the Pope s 
nuncio D Adda appeared in state at Windsor. The king 
had given orders that the statement regarding the liberty 


of conscience should be received in the churches, but the 
Episcopal bishops preferred to neglect this. The Arch 
bishop of Canterbury and six bishops petitioned the king 
not to insist on this, as in their estimation it was illegal, 
which was of course a subterfuge. The king promptly had 
them arrested and sent to the Tower, and the extraordinary 
spectacle was witnessed of the Quakers visiting their ancient 
enemy now in jail. This was interesting, illustrating the 
charity of the Quakers and their forgiving disposition. 

Barclay had evidence that certain bishops had been the 
means of securing the imprisonment of Quakers who died in 
jail, yet the Quakers were forgiving. Barclay and his 
friends heaped coals of fire upon the heads of their old 
enemies by visiting them and doing what they could to 
comfort them, and undoubtedly used their influence to ob 
tain their release. Influence, the Quakers most certainly 
had, from the coronation of James on, and one need not look 
far for its source. William Penn, when a young man of 
fashion, before he joined the Friends, was an intimate 
friend and companion of the Duke of York, who was now 
King James, and the momentous change in the treatment of 
Quakers from the time of James can be laid in a large meas 
ure to this old friendship. In a word, William Penn had 
the ear of the king, who while a devout Catholic, did not 
fail to recognize the fact that the Quakers lived up to their 
doctrines, and that their "peculiarities" did not prevent 
them from being loyal subjects to the crown and good citi 

This friendship is further shown by the fact that the King 
deputized William Penn to visit the continent and sound 
William of Orange as to his views, as he was a possible sue- 


cessor to the British throne. When Penn made his report, 
James found that while he favored toleration to the Protes 
tant Dissenters and the repeal of the penal laws against 
them, William was absolutely opposed to the abrogation of 
laws against Papists, whereupon he turned against him. It 
is a strange commentary on the world that the conflicts of re 
ligious views have caused more trouble and bloodshed than 
almost any other question, outside of mere desire of poss 
ession. England was constantly swayed, corrupted, led 
into wars, directly or indirectly, under the banner of the 

This was the outlook in the very inception of the reign of 
James. He was an extreme Papist, and the majority of 
the English hated him; yet the king literally flaunted his 
views in the face of the people by surrounding himself with 
all the panoply of the Church of Rome. There could be 
but one end to this. The masses began to fear for their 
rights, they saw the shadow of Papal supremacy on the 
wall, and while the king was mentally scheming against 
William of Orange, the non-comformists and the Episcopal 
ians were planning to seat him. 

William Henry, Prince of Orange, was the grandson of 
Charles the First, who married a daughter of James. Their 
alliance had been carried out as a political cabal by Charles 
the Second, who thought by joining the house of Nassau, 
whose head was a pronounced leader of the Continental 
Protestant alliance, with the daughter of the Duke of York, 
he would appeal to the non-conformists. That this was a 
clever diplomatic move was shown by the fact that the 
patience of the people was soon exhausted. Plans were 
laid, and as an outcome, William of Orange entered Eng- 


land at the head of an army of twelve thousand men; and 
James, the best friend the Quakers had, fled to France to 
save his life from the non-conformists malcontents, and the 
High Church Party. During the movements which led up 
to the seating of William and Mary, William Penn, who 
next to George Fox, was the most influential Quaker, be 
came a suspect. It was known that he was an intimate of 
the deposed king, not merely because he had been commen 
ded to the king on the deathbed of his father, but because 
there was a strong friendship between the men. They were 
true friends, and all knew it. As a result, the enemies of 
the Quakers denounced Penn as a Jesuit in disguise, charged 
him with all the crimes in the calendar, and finally he was 
ordered to appear before the Lords of the Council. 

The Friends were again in diffculties regarding the pay 
ment of tithes, and the taking of the oath, and many trials 
were held. George Fox was much affected by the political 
changes. He was, undoubtedly, broken by the terrible ex 
periences he had had, and the constant journeying through 
the country, America and the continent, and extremely wor 
ried at the outlook. He says: 

"In the seventh month I returned to London, having been 
near three months in the country for my health s sake, which 
was very much impaired; so that I was hardly able to stay 
in a meeting the whole time and often after a meeting was 
fain to lie down upon a bed. Yet did not my weakness of 
body take me off from service to the Lord; but I continued 
to labor in and out of meetings in the work of the Lord ; as 
he gave me opportunity and ability. 

I had not been long in London, before a great weight 
came upon me, and a sight the Lord gave me of the great 


bustles and troubles, revolution and change, which soon 
after came to pass. In the sense whereof, and in the mov- 
ings of the Spirit of the Lord, I wrote, A General Epistle 
to Friends, to forewarn them of the approaching storm; 
that they might all retire to the Lord in whom safety is, as 
followeth : 

My dear friends and brethren everywhere, who have re 
ceived the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom he has given power 
to become his sons and daughters; in him ye have life and 
peace, and in his everlasting kingdom that is an established 
kingdom and cannot be shaken, but is over all the world, 
and stands in his power, and in righteousnesss and joy in the 
Holy Ghost, into which no unrighteousness, nor the foul, 
unclean spirit of the devil and his instruments can enter. 
Dear friends and brethren, everyone in the faith of Jesus, 
stand in his power, who has all power in heaven and earth 
given to him, and will rule the nations with his rod of iron, 
and dash them to pieces like a potter s vessel, that are not 
subject and obedient to his power; whose voice will shake 
the heavens, and the earth, that that which may be shaken 
may be removed, and that which cannot be shaken may ap 
pear. Stand in him ; and all things shall work together for 
good to them that love him. 

And now, dear friends and brethren, though these waves, 
storms and tempests be in the world, yet you may all appear 
the harmless and innocent lambs of Christ, walking in his 
peaceable truth, and keeping in the word of power, wisdom, 
and patience: and this Word will keep you in the day of 
trials and temptations, that will come upon the whole 
world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. For the 
Word of God was before the World, and all things were 


made by it: it is a tried word, which gave God s people in 
all ages wisdom, power and patience. Therefore let your 
dwelling and walking be in Christ Jesus, who is called the 
Word of God; and in his power, which is over all. Set 
your affections on things that are above where Christ sits at 
the right hand of God (mark) on those things which are 
above, where Christ sits; not those things that are below, 
which will change and pass away. Blessed be the Lord 
God, who by his eternal arm and power hath gathered a 
people to himself, and hath preserved his faithful to him 
self, through many troubles , trials and temptations; his 
power and seed, Christ, is over all, and in him ye have life 
and peace with God. Therefore in him all stand, and see 
your salvation, who is first, and last, and the Amen. God 
Almighty preserve and keep you all in him, your ark and 
sanctuary; for in him you are safe over all floods, storms, 
and tempests: for he was before they were: and will be 
when they are all gone. 
London, the ijth of the 
8th month, 1688. G. F." 

To the unfortunate Quakers, whose vital principle 
was peace, there seemed no end of war, as James formed a 
coalition with the King of France and entered Ireland 
where he was defeated in the battle of the Boyne. Peace 
was again attained, and the loyal subjects of William and 
Mary testified their joy in various ways. The Quakers 
did not fail to present an address to the King, which read as 
follows : 


"To King William III. over England &c. 

fhe grateful acknowledgement of the people commonly 
called Quakers, humbly presented: 

May it please the King, 

Seeing the most high God, who ruleth in the kingdom of 
men, and appointeth over them whomsoever he will, hath 
by his over-ruling power and providence, placed thee in 
dominion and dignity over these realms; and by his divine 
favor hath signally preserved and delivered thee from many 
great and eminent dangers, and graciously turned the calam 
ity of war into the desired mercy of peace ; we heartily wish 
that we and all others concerned may be truly sensible and 
humbly thankful to Almighty God for the same, that the 
peace may be a lasting and perpetual blessing. 

And now, O king, the God of peace having returned thee 
in safety, it is cause of joy to them that fear him, to hear 
thy good and seasonable resolution effectually to discour 
age profaneness and immorality; righteousness being that 
which exalteth a nation; and as the king has been tenderly 
inclined to give ease and liberty of conscience to his sub 
jects of different persuasions (of whose favors we have 
largely partaken,), so we esteem it our duty gratefully to 
commemorate and acknowledge the same ; earnestly beseech 
ing Almighty God to assist the king to prosecute all these 
his just and good inclinations, that his days here may be 
happy and peaceable, and hereafter he may partake of a 
lasting crown that will never fade away. 
London, the yth of the eleventh month 
called January 1697." 

This was signed by George Whitehead, Daniel Ouare, 
Thomas Lower, John Vaughton, John Edge and Gilbert 


Latey, and was received by his majesty with every evidence 
of good will. 

An act was now passed favorable to the Quakers, exempt 
ing the Dissenters from penal laws. The Quakers were 
allowed to hold meetings if the doors remained unlocked. 
George Fox, William Penn and others attended the meet 
ings of Parliament daily and fought for the repeal of the 
tithing laws, but without avail. Quakers and all Dissent 
ers were obliged to pay tithes. In the matter of taking 
the oath, the following, was allowed the Quakers as a sub 
stitute : 

"I, A. B., do sincerely promise and solemnly declare, be 
fore God and the world, that I will be true and faithful to 
king William and queen Mary; and I do solemnly profess 
and declare, that I do from my heart abhor, detest, and re 
nounce, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine 
and position, that princes excommunicated or deprived by 
the pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be de 
posed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatso 
ever. And I declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, 
state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any power, juris 
diction, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, eccelsiasti- 
cal or spiritual, within this realm." 

They were also forced to declare to their orthodoxy as 
follows : 

"I, A. B., profess faith in God, the Father, and in Jesus 
Christ his eternal Son, the true God, and in the holy Spirit, 
one God, blessed forevermore; and do acknowledge the 
Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given 
by divine inspiration." 

George Fox never abated his work, yet he was failing. 


He says: "When I had staid about a month in London, 
I got out of town again. For by reason of the many hard 
ships I had undergone in imprisonments, and other suffer 
ings for truth s sake, my body, was grown so infirm and 
weak, that 1 could not bear the closeness of the city long 
together; but was fain to go a little into the country, where 
I might have the benefit of the fresh air. At this time I 
went with my son-in-law, William Mead, to his country 
house called Gooses in Essex." Again, "About the middle 
of the first month, 1688,9, 1 went to London, the parliament 
then sitting, and being then about the bill of indulgence. 
Though I was weak in body, and not well able to stir to and 
fro, yet so great a concern was upon my Spirit on behalf of 
truth and friends, that I attended continually for many 
days, with others, at the parliament-house, laboring with the 
members, that the thing might be done comprehensively 
and effectually. 

In this and other services, I continued till towards the end 
of the second month, when being much spent with continual 
labour, I got out of town for a little while, as far as South- 
gate and thereabouts." 

A result of his labors, and those of his friends, George 
Whitehead, Christopher Holder and others, referred to in 
the above, was the passing of the Act of Toleration, a signal 
victory for them in England and the colonies, as by it Parlia 
ment recognized the Quakers, demanded respect for their 
religion from all men, and literally exempted English Prot 
estant Dissenters from the Church of England or from the 
effect of the old laws enforcing conformity. 

No one Act in the history of England spoke stronger for 
its mental and moral uplift than this of the Calvinist, King 


William, who thus introduced true Christian liberty into 
the country so long trodden under the heel of bigotry, and 
merciless intolerance. 

In 1690 the Quakers lost, by death, one of their greatest 
men and finest characters, Robert Barclay. It was Barclay, 
refined, cultivated, well educated, who took the elements of 
Quakerism created by Fox and moulded them into a system, 
that as a hypothesis for a practical, moral uplift has no 
equal. The Quakers now had a status, were established as 
having rights before the law, and their meetings and in 
fluence rapidly increased over the country. They success 
fully prevented a bill from passing parliament, aimed 
against the publication of religious books. 

In 1691, George Fox, who had been gradually failing, 
passed away. The later months he spent in London, and 
on Sunday, January 11, he attended a meeting at Grace- 
church Street, and preached one of the most remarkable 
sermons of his career. Then, in the words of William Penn, 
"he triumphed over death, and was so even in his spirit 
to the last as if death were hardly worth notice or a 
mention." William Penn, his friend, wrote the sad news 
to his wife at Swarthmore. His words were, "I am to be 
the teller to thee of sorrowful tidings, which are these; 
that thy dear husband, and my beloved friend, George Fox, 
finished his glorious testimony this night, about half-an- 
hour after nine o clock, being sensible to the last breath. 
Oh! he is gone, and has left us with a storm over our 
heads. Surely in great mercy to him, but an evidence to 
us of sorrows coming." Carlyle said, "No grander thing 
was ever done than when George Fox went forth determined 
to find Truth for himself, and to battle for it against all 
superstition, bigotry and intolerances." 


The founder of Quakerism lies at Bunhills Friends Bury 
ing Ground. One can say, there lies a man who, during the 
most intolerant period in English history, held up his hand 
and rebuked the world. Fearless, consistent in all things, 
he made the greatest effort ever attempted to live the life 
of Christ, as he saw it. 

William Penn was the object of constant attack and 
suspicion from the enemies of King James and friends of 
William and Mary. To have been the friend of the de 
posed king was all sufficient, and the enemies of Quakers, 
who had been disarmed by Parliament of their methods of 
attack, now concentrated their venom on Penn; hoping to 
destroy him and so strike down the now head of the Quakers. 
These attacks were extremely ingenious and were aided by 
the fact that William Penn disdained to deny his friend 
ship, boldly stated that James had been and still was his 
friend ; but as a loyal Quaker, he had affirmed his allegiance 
to King William. 

There were many persons in London at this time, known 
as Jacobites and Non jurors, who refused to take the oath 
of allegiance, and who never ceased their attempts to 
restore King James. The enemies of Penn and Quakerism 
did all they could to connect Penn with them, and he was 
openly and repeatedly charged with being a Jesuit in dis 
guise. Letters to him from King James at the Court of 
Louis XIV were intercepted and he was again brought 
before the Privy Council; but he demanded an interview 
with the king, who was fully satisfied with his explanation 
of the correspondence. 

During the king s absence in Ireland leading the army, 
a plot was discovered in Scotland, and the Queen arrested 


all suspects, among them William Penn, the officers taking 
him into custody as he was returning from the funeral of 
his friend George Fox. Lord Preston, engaged in a plot 
to seat King James, stated that Penn was one of the con 
spirators, and another plotter, one William Fuller, swore 
that Penn was in league with Louis XIV to invade England ; 
and the accusation that Penn was a Jesuit and secret emis 
sary of Rome rendered it most difficult for him to clear 
himself. At this juncture, Penn disappeared from the pub 
lic eye, sending the following explanation to his friends: 
"My privacy is not because men have sworn truly, but 
falsely against me: for wicked men have laid in wait for 
me, and false witnesses have laid to my charge things that 
I knew not; who have never sought myself, but the good 
of all, through great exercises; and have done some good, 
and would have done more, and hurt to no man ; but always 
desired that truth and righteousness, mercy and peace, might 
take place amongst us." 

So extensively had the report spread that William Penn 
was a Jesuit that when visiting Ireland in the year 1698 
with Thomas Story and John Everet, they were charged 
with being Papists and their horses seized. William Penn 
denounced this as an outrage, and demanded an investiga 
tion, when he found that a law existed by which no Cath 
olic could own a horse worth more than five pounds, five 
shillings, which is suggestive of the strenuous methods used 
in the seventeenth century to rid Ireland of Catholics. Penn 
presented the case to the Lord-chief-Justice, and his party 
was released and allowed to continue their preaching tour. 
To add to his annoyances and perplexities, the Pennsyl 
vania Quakers had refused to provide funds for the estab- 


lishment of military defense, proposing to depend on moral 
suasion; and with several charges, among them treason, 
hanging over him, Penn for two or three years was elim 
inated from the work he was doing, almost completely 
undone by the active enemies of Quakerism, who thus 
made him a scapegoat. It was only when Lord Preston 
escaped and his partner, Fuller, was found to be a perjurer 
and sentenced to the pillory, that the king began to suspect 
that Penn had been maligned and was innocent. When 
John Locke, author of the famous letter on toleration, 
Lords Ranclagh, Rochester and Sydney, waited on the 
king and asked for his pardon, on the ground that he had 
been most unjustly treated; it was awarded. 

Penn was not satisfied with the royal clemency alone. 
Being innocent, he demanded an investigation by the Privy 
Council, which had repeatedly arrested him, and was hon 
orably acquitted. 

One of the last acts of William was one which saved 
the Quakers from much persecution. An Act had been 
passed giving them seven years of affirmation, instead of the 
oath. This was about expiring, but was increased to eleven. 
Soon after, the king was fatally injured and died, regretted 
and lamented by the English Protestants at large. 




The Quakers of England were profoundly stirred by the 
death of a beloved monarch, and the accession of Anne, 
who quieted the political enemies of the Quakers by 
promptly promising to carry out the policies of her late 
brother. This was welcomed by the Quakers who dreaded 
the extraordinary political upheavals which had charac 
terized the history of England in the past thirty years. It 
had been a prophecy of George Fox that "God in his own 
time would work their deliverance, and that it would not 
be in the power of their enemies to root them out." When 
the mind reverts back to their struggles of nearly sixty years, 
through the eras of Cromwell, Charles the First and Second, 
and James, sixty years of endless battling with governors, 
kings, soldiery, priests, Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, 
Cromwellians, Cavaliers, Papists, Ranters and a hundred 
and one enemies, using all the weapons of law and fact, 
killing them, confining them in dens that reeked of the 
Inquisition, struck down, robbed, their houses wrecked, 
their women insulted, killed, considering all this, and that 
in no instance during these six decades had a Quaker ever 
retaliated with a blow by hand or weapon, ever remon 
strated, except by prayer or in acceptable language, the final 
triumph stands as the extraordinary event of a remarkable 

During these stirring times, scores of Friends were 


preaching. New men and women were coming to the 
front, Richard Claridge, John Audland, John Camm, Sam* 
uel Bownas, John Richardson, Stephen Crisp, Thomas Story, 
Thomas Chalkley, Charles Marshall, Susanne Fisher, 
Francis Ellington, I. TifTen and many more, who travelled 
over England arousing the interest of the people, and solid 
ifying the bands which connected the meeting houses, which 
now dotted the face of England, Ireland, Scotland and 

The Quakers of England now found themselves free, 
their ministers, men and women, occupied the field of re 
ligious and literary endeavor without serious protest from 
Papists or Episcopalians. The depths of the unfathomed 
caves of merciless attack seemed to have been sounded, and 
there was an adjustment of imaginative and actual values 
in their relation to life and property over the Christian 
world. No more did armed men enter meeting houses 
and drag out men, with curses and invective. No more 
were guards stationed along the approaches to towns and 
villages to pass the word, that the Quakers coming to town 
might be adequately stoned or perhaps killed. Justice and 
truth seemed to prevail, and the false reports, lies and de 
famations regarding the lives of Quakers were relegated to 
the depths of contumelious fiction. In the early days of 
the Quakers they were without influence and made little 
attempt to conciliate the powers that be; but as the crud 
ities of the early times were tempered, the influential men 
of the sect as Fox, Penn, Holder, Barclay, Edmundson, 
Gove, Fell, Ap John and others used what influence they 
had for their betterment and did what they could to keep 
the reigning powers posted as to the loyalty of the Quakers 


to the throne; no difficult matter for a sect which would 
not swear, which held ideas not always in accord with the 
splendors that surrounded the king. 

In accordance with this policy, George Whitehead upon 
the ascendance to the throne of Queen Anne, drew up an 
address of welcome from the Quakers, which was intro 
duced by the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of 
Ormond, friends of William Penn: 

"To Queen Anne, over England, etc. 
May it please the Queen, 

We, thy peaceable subjects, cannot but be sorrowfully 
affected with a deep sense of the loss sustained by the death 
of our late king William the Third, whom God made the 
instrument of much good to these nations; a prince who 
indeed desired to be the common father of his people, and 
as such did by his great example, as well as precept, en 
deavor to unite them in interest and affection, and pro 
moted and confirmed a legal liberty to tender consciences, 
by all which his reign was adorned, to the renown of his 

And it having pleased the all-wise God, the disposer of 
kingdoms, to preserve thee to succeed to the government of 
these nations; and thereby to the maintaining and consum 
mating those great works so happily begun ; we humbly beg 
leave to congratulate thy free and peaceable accession to 
the throne whence we observe the queen s excellent declara 
tion, manifesting her care for the good of all her people, 
and therefore doubt not but we, her Protestant dissenting 
subjects, shall partake of her royal favor and protection. 

We sincerely declare, that with the assistance of the 


grace of God, we will always, according to our Christian 
duty, demonstrate our good affection, truth, and fidelity to 
the queen and her government; and heartily pray that his 
wisdom may direct, and his blessing be upon the queen and 
her great council, to the suppressing of vice and immorality, 
and the promoting of piety, peace, and charity, to the glory 
of God, and the benefit of these nations. 

May the King of kings make thy reign long and glorious, 
to which temporal blessing we shall pray for thy eternal 

Signed on behalf and by appointment of the aforesaid 
people, at a meeting in London, the loth of the Second 
month, 1702." 

The Queen was extremely friendly to the Quakers and 
above all stood for toleration, which the Quakers promptly 
recognized at the Yearly Meeting, March 30, 1702 in 
London : 

"To Queen Anne, over England, etc. 

The humble and thankful acknowledgement of the people 
commonly called Quakers, from their Yearly-Meeting in 
London, the 3oth day of the Third month, called May, 1702. 
May it please the Queen, 

We, thy peaceable and dutiful subjects, met from most 
parts of thy dominions at our usual Yearly-Meeting, (for 
the promotion of piety and charity) being deeply affected 
with thy free and noble resolution in thy late speech at the 
prorogation of the Parliament, to preserve and maintain the 
act of toleration for the ease and quiet of all thy people, could 
not but in gratitude esteem ourselves engaged both to thank 
Almighty God for that favorable influence, and to renew 
and render our humble and hearty acknowledgements to 


the queen for the same, assuring her, on behalf of all our 
friends, of our sincere affection and Christian obedience. 

And we beseech God, the fountain of wisdom and good 
ness, so to direct all thy counsels and undertakings, that 
righteousness which exalts a nation, and mercy and justice, 
that establish a throne, may be the character of thy reign, 
and the blessings of these kingdoms under it. 

Signed by the appointment and on behalf of the said 

This memorial was presented at Court by William Penn 
to whom the Queen was very gracious, assuring him of her 
friendship, and reiterating her pro- toleration sentiments 
issued on ascending the throne. This year, the Friends lost 
one of their most distinguished members, Margaret Fell 
Fox, the widow of George Fox, whose home, Swarthmore, 
had so long been headquarters for the Quakers; she died 
in her eighty-seventh year. During this period unification 
of England and Scotland was accomplished, and the two 
were called Great Britain. This and the failure of the 
threatened invasion of Scotland stirred again the loyalty 
of the Quakers, who addressed the Queen in the following: 

"To Anne, Queen of Great Britain, etc. 

The grateful and humble Address of the People com 
monly called Quakers, from their Yearly Meeting in Lon 
don, this 28th day of the Third month, called May, 1708. 

We, having good cause to commemorate the manifold 
mercies of God vouchsafed to this united kingdom of Great 
Britain, believe it our duty to make our humble acknowl 
edgements, first to the Divine Majesty, and next to the 
queen, for the liberty we enjoy under her kind and fav- 


orable government, with hearty desires and prayers to 
Almighty God (who hath hitherto disappointed the mis 
chievous and wicked designs of her enemies, both foreign 
and domestic) that he will so effectually replenish the 
queen s heart together with those of her great council, with 
his divine wisdom, that righteousness, justice, and modera 
tion, which are the ornaments of the queen s reign and which 
exalt a nation, may be increased and promoted. 

And we take this opportunity to give the queen the re 
newed assurance of our hearty affection to the present estab 
lished government, and that we will as a people in our re 
spective stations, according to our peaceable principles, by 
the grace of God, approve ourselves in all fidelity the 
queen s faithful and obedient subjects, and as such conclude 
with fervent prayers to the Lord of Hosts, that, after a 
prosperous, safe and long reign in this lift, O queen, thou 
mayest be blessed with an eternal crown of glory." 

Fourteen members of the Yearly Meeting of 28th Third 
month 1708 signed this address, which was presented to her 
Majesty at a private audience by George Whitehead and 
Thomas Lower, ministers of the Society. When intro 
duced by the cavalier. Chief Secretary of State Boyle, 
Whitehead said, "We heartily wish the queen health and 
happiness ; we are come to present an address from our yearly 
meeting, which we could have desired might have been 
more early and seasonably timed, but could not, because our 
said meeting was but the last week ; and therefore now hope 
the queen will favorably accept our address." 

Upon receiving the thanks of her majesty, he again re 
plied, "We thankfully acknowledge, that God by his power 
and special providence, hath preserved and defended the 


queen against the evil designs of her enemies, having made 
the queen an eminent instrument for the good of this nation 
and the realm of Great Britian, in maintaining the tolera 
tion, the liberty we enjoy in respect to our consciences 
against persecution. Which liberty being grounded upon 
this reason in the late king s reign, for the uniting the 
Protestant subjects in interest and affection, the union of 
Great Britian now settled tends to the strength and safety 
thereof; for in union is the strength and stability of a 
nation, or kingdom ; and without union, no nation or people 
can be safe; but are weak and unstable. The succession 
of the crown being settled and established in the Protestant 
line, must needs be very acceptable to all true Protestant 

And now, O queen, that the Lord may preserve and de 
fend thee for the future, the remainder of thy days, and 
support thee, under all thy great care and concern for the 
safety and good of this nation and kingdom of Great 
Britian, and that the Lord may bless and preserve thee to 
the end, is our sincere desire." 

It is not to be imagined that the accumulated venom, dis 
like and prejudice against Quakers disappeared with their 
political disabilities. The essentials of Quakerism were 
still an excitent to the church and to Papists, and doubtless 
some extreme Quakers still insisted upon entering churches, 
which undoubtedly incensed the rightful owners. Be this 
as it may, the followers of Fox did not lack enemies. Lit 
erary scavengers who published pamphlets against them, 
wrote vituperative books, spread scandals by word of 
mouth, and more ingenious yet, encouraged pseudo friends 
to follow them under their own roofs, and create schisms 


and disputes on questions of moral ethics. The keen and 
passionate cynicism of Swift was used against them, and 
the brilliant wits of the day kept up a sustained fusillade 
of badly disguised invective; all of which brought out a 
peculiar characteristic of the Quakers, which was that they 
progressed better under attack than in times of peace. 
Persecution, contumely, martyrdom, seemingly agreed with 
them as a body. Individuals went down before the perse 
cution, families were wiped out, but the Society as a relig 
ious organization throve under the lash of merciless and 
pitiless attack, and the iron hand of intolerance. 

This undeniable fact has been used against the Quakers 
to prove that they were merely religious fanatics, who court 
ed martyrdom; but this is not true. All great efforts, 
mental, physical, national or individual, religious or philan 
thropic, find their greatest activities in the time of strenuous 
endeavor, and a calm almost invariably follows a storm. 
As these lines are written I read in Die Post, the organ 
of the German war party, "Germans have never thriven 
while enjoying an endless peace. Only the diversion of 
a great war can arouse the best powers of the nation, and 
subjugate the inferior qualities." 

The Journal of George Fox, which is criticised for its 
lack of general and political information in a most exciting 
era, is filled with statements, addresses and sermons often 
replying to his literary enemies. The Quakers were not 
disturbed by attacks ,or the extraordinary jokes at their ex 
pense, and occasionally they would even capture a priest of 
the Church of England. Such an instance was that of 
Samuel Crisp, who said, "O the love, the sweetness, tender 
ness and affection I have seen amongst this people." 


Among the notable attempts to create dissension among 
the Friends, is the historic case of George Keith, who caused 
much excitement by writing and preaching against the 
Friends, but losing in the end. Among the distinguished 
ministers in the end of the century was Peter Gardner, who 
visited Scotland, and created much interest at Ury, meeting 
Robert Gerard, Margaret Jaffray, David Wallace, John 
Chalmers, John Bowstead and many others. Samuel 
Bownas, author and preacher, was doing yoeman service. 

In 1710, the queen reiterated her determination to main 
tain toleration and liberty of conscience, and the Quakers of 
London again thanked her in a long and fervent address, 
which was repeated by the Yearly Meeting in 1713 at Lon 
don, after the declaration of peace between England and 

There were at this time at least sixty-five thousand 
Quakers in Great Britain and Ireland, and again the histor 
ian is attracted by the strange anomaly that when the seas 
were smoothest, the Society did not increase ; the facts being 
that from about the time of the death of George Fox, or the 
decade that included it, the Society, while it increased in in 
fluence, really decreased in numbers. This continued until 
about 1800 when the sum total of Quakers in Great Britain 
and Ireland could not have been over twenty thousand. 
From then on they slowly increased. Many attempts have 
been made to explain this enigma. Eminolt ascribes it to 
the natural reaction, and the death of Fox, Barclay, Penn, 
Howgill, and other great leaders. But I should consider 
that the cause could be found in the fact that the Quakers 
were not active in proselyting compared to other sects. 
The fundamental objective of Quakerism was not to form 


a new religion, but to warn and rebuke the whole world. 
The sect of Quakers, as a religious denomination, was an 
afterthought which arose from the conditions which ob 
tained. To this must be added the strictness of the rules of 
life, the contrast to the gayeties of the day, and the diffi 
culty in keeping young people in the church of tomorrow, in 
a fold in which the innocent pleasures of life natural to 
youth were, in a sense, eliminated. The First Day with 
its ultra religious books, often of a doleful character, was a 
melancholy experience for exhuberant youth. The Cath 
olic youth was brought up amid the splendor of the church 
and its gorgeous display. The youthful Quaker was color, 
music and art starved. Thus Friends were deprived, in 
sensibly, of their greatest source of strength, development 
and increase. 

The period of the activity of Fox and Penn saw some of 
the greatest wits in the history of England, whose tempera 
mental characteristics were such as to make the Quaker 
fair game. Among the brilliant men of the time was John 
Milton, who was the secretary of Cromwell and who often 
discussed Quakerism with Ellwood. Edmund Waller was 
writing verse when Fox was in the Tower, and Lord Claren 
don s clever pen was not always engaged in state papers; 
his prolix and redundant style finding ammunition in the 
mystic Quakers. The author of Hudibras, Samuel Butler, 
had as a pseudo patron the Duke of Buckingham. Jeremy 
Taylor, whom Coleridge says, "burned with Christian 
love," being an intense Papist and follower of Laud, aimed 
his cynical darts at the Quakers. Here, too, was Richard 
Baxter, launching his phillipics of wit, speculation, religion, 
into the sea of imaginative achievement at the expense of 


the Quaker. Denham, Sir Rodger L Estrange, Abraham 
Cowley, "O ernin with wit, and lavish of his thoughts," 
Andrew Merrit, and by no means least, John Evelyn, whose 
diary is a mine of well digested truth of the time of Charles 
the Second, and who was fair while caustic with the Qua 
kers. Even Pepys, who despised Sir William Penn, was 
pleased to say that Evelyn was "a most excellent person." 
The clever pen of Bishop Tillotson, whom Dryden owned 
his master, Dryden himself the laureate, who rivalled 
Juvenal as a satirist, a brilliant lyric poet, John Locke, 
whom Laudor claims as the most elegant of prose writers, 
the learned Earl of Rosscommon, the Earl of Rochester, 
Congreve, Sir Richard Steele and many more, aimed their 
caustic epithetical bombs at the Quakers, who replied in the 
extraordinary pamphlets,* published in the shadow of St. 
Paul, whose style astonished and mystified the wits and 
artists of the seventeenth century. 

In the year 1714 a bill was introduced into Parliment en 
titled "An Act to Prevent the Growth of Schisms." It was 
a revival of the old intolerance, and if passed, would have 
prevented the Quakers and other Dissenters from organiz 
ing and carrying on their schools, a permission already 
granted the Episcopal Church. The Quakers entered a 
vigorous protest against this iniquity, but the bill passed. 
The queen died in 1714, and George the First, prince elector 
of Brunswick, Lunenberg, was crowned king, being the son 
of Sophia, widow and electoral princess of Brunswick who 
had been selected for the succession. About forty repre 
sentative Quakers under the leadership of George White- 

*Footnote. See appendix for typical pamphlet by Christopher 


head, waited on the king. They were presented by Lord 
Townsend and their leader read the following address : 

"To George, King of Great Britian &c. 

The humble address of the people commonly called 
Great Prince, 

It having pleased Almighty God to deprive these 
kingdoms of our late gracious queen, we do in great humil 
ity approach thy royal presence with hearts truly thankful 
to divine Providence for thy safe arrival, with the prince 
thy son, and for thy happy and uninterrupted accession to 
the crown of these realms; which, to the universal joy of 
thy faithful subjects, hath secured to thy people the Prot 
estant succession, and dissipated the just apprehensions we 
were under, of losing those religious and civil liberties, 
which were granted to us by law, in the reign of King 
William the III., whose memory we mention with great 
gratitude and affection. We are also in duty obliged 
thankfully to acknowledge thy early and gracious declara 
tion in council, wherein thou hast, in princely and Christian 
expressions, manifested thy just sense of the state of thy 
people, and which we hope will make all degrees of thy 
subjects easy. 

And as it hath been our known principle to live peaceable 
under government, so we hope it will always be our practice, 
through God s assistance, to approve ourselves with hearty 
affection, thy faithful and dutiful subjects. 

May the wonderful Counsellor and great Preserver of 
men, guide the king by his divine wisdom; protect him by 
his power; give him health and length of days here, and 
eternal felicity hereafter; and so bless his royal offspring, 

G E Q T R G E, 


The Humble ADDRESS of the People catted 
QU A K E R S, from their Tearly-Meeting in 
London, the 26th Day of the Third Month, 
called May, 171 6. 

May it Pleafe the K.I NG / 

WE, Thy Faithful and Peaceable Subjects, being met in this 
Our Annual Aflembh, do hold Our felves obliged, in Point 
of Principle and Gratitude, rather than by Formal and 
Frequent Addreffes, humbly and openly to acknowledge the 
manifold Bleflings and kind Providences of God, which have attend 
ed thefe Kingdoms everfince thy Happy Acceffion to the Throne. 

A N D as Our Religion effectually enjoins Us Obedience to the Su- 
pream Authority fo it is with great Satisfaction that we pay it to a 
PRINCE, whofe Jttfttce, Clemency and Moderation, cannot but endear, 
and firmly unite the Hearts and Affections of all His True Proteftant 

We are therefore forrowfully Affe&ed for theUnhappinefsof thofe 
of Our Countrymen, who have fo little Gratitude or Goodneis, as to 
be uneafie under fo juft and mild an Adminiftration : Nor can We 
refleft on the late Unjuft and Unnatural Rebellion, without con 
cluding the Promoters thereof, and- Actors therein, were Men infa 
tuated, and hurried by fuch an Evil Spirit, as would lay wade and 
deftroy both the Civil and Religious Liberties of thefe Proteftant 

A N D as God, the Lord of Hods, has mod fignally appeared to the 
Confounding that Black Confpiratj, fo We pray his Good Providence 
may always attend the KING S Councils ana Undertakings, to the 
Eftablifhing His Throne in Righteoufnefs and Peace, and Making 
his Houfe a fure Houfe. 

PERMIT Us therefore, Great Prince, to lay hold of tins Opportu 
nity to approach Thy Royal Prefence, with Our Hearty Thanks to the 
King and His Great Council, for all the Privileges and Liberties We 
enjoy. To behold a Prince upon the Throne, Solicitous for the Eafe and 
Happinefsof His People beyond any other Views, fo highrens Our Sa- 
tisfaftion and Joy, that We want Words to exprefi Our full Senfe 
thereof. And therefore We can do no lefs, than affure the Kmg, 
That as it is Our Duty to demean Our Selves towards the King s Per- 
fon and Government, with all Faithful Obedience, fo p VVc v a r r h e r de ^- 
mincd, by Divine Afliftance, devoutly and heartily to Pray the ^od 
and Father of allOurMercies, To vouchsafe unto AeKuig a L 
Peaceable and Profperous Reign; And that when it 
Almighty to removVfrom V$^j$$$ 
felf, there may not want a Branch of 1 nyKoyarran 
with Wifdomand Virtue to fill tlie Throne. tiUTimcftall be nom 

The KING S Gracious Anfwer. ^ 

I TM feu for the Affiance of Duty n g%Z*il 

1 Government, contained l thu Addrejs, an 
mj ProteRion. 



Frenchay, England (Upper) 

"Swarthmore," England 


that they may never fail to adorn the throne with a successor 
endowed with piety and virtue." 

This was received by the King who assured the Quakers 
of his protection ; and England, so far as the Royal family 
is concerned, became Germanized, and has so continued 
until today. 

During 1715 and following years the Society of Friends 
had attained such proportions and its principles had become 
so well known that it began to command the respect of all 
people, who saw that despite certain "peculiarities" of the 
Quakers their morals and methods of life were beyond criti 

The Bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Gilbert Burnet, author of 
the "History of the Reformation," died about this time, 
and while not an active friend of the Quakers, he was ex 
tremely tolerant. He said on one occasion, "I will not 
deny but many of the dissenters were put to great hard 
ships in many parts of England ; I cannot deny it, and I am 
sure I will never justify it. And I will boldly say this, that 
if the Church of England, after she has got out of this 
storm will return to hearken to the peevishness of some sour 
men, she will be abandoned both of God and man, and will 
set both Heaven and earth against her." 

In this year the Act of Toleration expired, and the 
Friends brought up the subject in Parliament, and it became 

In thankfulness the Quakers addressed the king as fol 

"The Lord our God who, for the sake of his heritage 
hath, often hithertofore rebuked and limited the raging 
waves of the sea, hath, blessed be his name, mercifully dis- 


persed the clouds threatening a storm, which lately seemed 
to hang over us; which, together with the favor that God 
hath given us in the eyes of the king and the government, 
for the free enjoyment of our religious and civil liberties, 
call for true thankfulness to him. And humbly to pray to 
Almighty God for the king and those in authority, for his 
and their safety and defense, is certainly our Christian duty, 
as well as to walk inoffensively as a grateful people." 

The methods of the Quakers in keeping in touch with all 
their members in 1717 is interesting, illustrating, as it does, 
how complete and extraordinary a religious organization 
they had developed for the production of good men and 
women. The Catholic Church aimed at the same point in 
introducing the Confession of Sins as a part of their moral 
code. But the Quaker confessed to God in his silent meet 
ings, and designed to keep the members of the Society so 
pure that they would have nothing to confess. The Quak 
ers had various methods of reaching their members. 
Among them were the so-called epistles, issued by the yearly 
meetings, which were sent out and read at the various busi 
ness meetings. The following is such a paper : 

"The Epistle from the Tearly Meeting in London, held 
by adjournment, from the roth day of the Fourth month, 
to the i^th of the same inclusive, 1717. 

fo the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings of Friends in 
Great Britian, and elsewhere. 

Our salutation in the love of Christ Jesus our blessed 
Lord, is freely extended unto you, whose tender care is over, 
and mercy to, this our annual assembly, we do humbly and 
thankfully acknowledge in the love, amity, tender condescen 
sion, and peaceable procedure thereof, with respect to the 


divine power and good of the Lord our God, and the service 
of his church and people; sincerely desiring the prosperity 
of his whole heritage, even in all the Churches of Christ 
among us, in his dear love, unity and peace, to his eternal 
glory, and our universal comfort and perpetual joy in the 
kingdom of the dear Son of God. 

We are truly comforted, in that we understand there is 
such a general concurrence and union among Friends, with 
our former earnest desires and counsel, for true and uni 
versal love, unity and peace and good order to be earnestly 
endeavored and maintained among us, as a peculiar people, 
chosen of the Lord, out of the world, to bear a faithful 
testimony to His Holy Name and truth, in all respects ; and 
that all that is contrary be watched against and avoided; as 
strife, discord, contention, and disputes tending to divisions, 
may be utterly suppressed and laid aside, as the light and 
righteous judgment of truth require. 

Oh! that all the churches and congregations of the faith 
ful would be excited by the Spirit of the dear Son of God, 
fervently to pray for the prosperity of his church and people 
throughout the world, that Zion may more shine in the 
beauty of holiness, to the glory and praise of the King of 

The friends and brethren come up from several quarterly 
meetings in this nation, have given a good account to this 
meeting of truth s prosperity, and that Friends are generally 
in love and unity one with another ; and by several epistles, 
from friends of North Carolina, Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, Barbadoes, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, and 
Wales, which have been read in this meeting; as also by 
verbal accounts given by several friends that have lately 


travelled in divers parts of America, and elsewhere, we have 
received comfortable accounts of the state of truth and 
Friends in those parts; by which we are encouraged to hope 
truth prevails in many places, and a concern grows upon 
Friends for the prosperity therof ; and that there is an in 
clination in people to hear the truth declared. 

By the accounts brought up this year, we find that 
Friends offerings in England and Wales, amount to five 
thousand, two hundred and ninety pounds, and upwards, 
chiefly for tithes, priests wages, and steeple-house rates; 
and that notwithstanding, there have been four Friends dis 
charged the last year, there yet remain twenty Friends pris 
oners on these accounts. 

We advise that a tender care remain upon Friends in all 
places, to be faithful in keeping up our Christian testimony 
against tithes, as being fully persuaded, it is that whereun- 
to God hath called his people in this our day; we, seeing by 
daily experience, that such as are not faithful therein, do 
thereby add to the sufferingss of honest Friends, and hinder 
their own growth and prosperity in the most blessed truth. 

As touching the education of Friends children, for which 
this meeting hath often found a concern; we think it our 
duty to recommend unto you the necessity that there is of a 
care in preserving of them in plainness of speech and habit 
suitable to our holy profession; and also that no opportu 
nity be omitted, nor any endeavor wanting, to instruct them 
in the principle of truth which we profess; that thereby 
they, being sensible of the operation thereof in themselves, 
may find, not only their spirits softened and tendered, fit to 
receive the impressions of the divine image, but may also 
thence find themselves under a necessity to appear clear in 


the several branches of our Christian testimony. And as 
this will be most beneficial to them, being the fruits of con 
viction, so it is the most effectual way of propagating the 
suitable to our holy profession; and also that no opportun 
ity be omitted, nor any endeavor wanting, to instruct them 
same throughout the churches of Christ. And there being 
times and seasons wherein their spirits are, more than at 
others, disposed to have those things impressed upon them; 
so we desire that all parents, and others concerned in the 
oversight of youth, might wait in the fear of God, to know 
themselves divinely qualified for that service, that in his 
wisdom they may make use of every such opportunity, 
which the Lord shall put into their hands. And we do 
hereby warn and advise Friends in all places to flee from 
every appearance of evil, and keep out of pride, and from 
following the vain fashions and customs of this world, as 
recommended in the Epistle, 1715. 

And as we always found it our concern to recommend 
love, concord, and unity in the churches of Christ every 
where, so, as a means to effect the same, we earnestly desire 
that Friends, but more especially such as are concerned in 
meetings of business, do labor to know their own spirits sub 
jected by the Spirit of Truth; that thereby being baptized 
into one body, they may be truly one in the foundation of 
their love and unity, and that therein they may all labor to 
find a nearness to each other in spirit; this being the true 
way to a thorough reconciliation; wherever there is, or may 
have been any difference of apprehension; thereby Friends 
will be preserved in that sweetness of spirit, that is, and 
will be the bond of true peace, throughout all the Churches 
of Christ. 


And, dear Friends, the Friends of this meeting, to whom 
the inspection of the accounts was referred, made report, 
that having perused the same, they found the stock to be 
near expended; whereupon this meeting thinks it necessary 
to recommend unto you, that a general and free contribu 
tion be made in every county, and that what shall be there 
upon collected, be sent up to the respective correspondents. 

Finally, dear Friends and brethren, be careful to walk 
unblamable in love and peace among yourselves, and to 
wards all men in Christian charity, and be humbly thankful 
to the Lord our most gracious God, for the favor he hath 
given us in the eyes of the king and civil government, in the 
peacable enjoyment of our religious and Christian liberties 
among them; and the God of peace, we trust ,will be with 
you to the end. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits, 

Signed in, and on the behalf, and by order of, this 

By Benjamin Bealing." 

During the reign of the Georges, there was little to at 
tract attention to the Quakers, except that they became 
highly honored and respected members of society. In the 
reign of George II. membership with Friends was denned, 
and the Quakers became more and more pronounced 
as a sect. All children of members of the Society of 
Friends were born members and so remained. The empha 
sis placed upon worldly matters and attire by George Fox 
resulted gradually in the assuming of what was practically 
a uniform, as pronounced as that of his Lordship, the 
Bishop of London to-day. This was an amusing contretemps, 


as it was diameterically opposed to what the Quakers origin 
ally desired. They first cut from their coats the but 
tons behind,because they appertained to swords, the turned 
over collar or cuff was a vanity and unnecessary. This left 
the coat with an upright collar, no colors were allowed, 
black, white or drab predominated. The dress of women 
was equally plain, and the delicate cap, the scoop bonnet 
became what was practically a uniform beautiful in its sim 
plicity. That simplicity was enforced all the old records 
show. Barclay says: "In 1703, the young women came 
to York Quarterly Meeting in long cloaks and bonnets, and 
they were therefore not only ordered to take the advice of 
the elders of the particular church (i. e. Meeting) to which 
they belonged, before they came to these great Meetings 
here in York, but in the minutes of one monthly meeting 
it was ordered that those young women who intended to go 
to York were to appear before their own meeting in those 
clothes that they intended to have on at York ! 

Committees were appointed to visit homes to see that the 
occupants liveed up to the tenets of the meeting.* 

The Society of Friends at this period in England and the 
colonies had produced a new type of men and women. 
Anyone who knew Friends could easily recognize them, as 
dignity, sweetness and purity of character was indelibly 

*Footnote. The author was a born member of the Lynn, Massa 
chusetts, meeting, transferred to The New York meeting in 1872. He 
removed to California in 1885, but has never been transferred to a 
local meeting although twenty-seven years have passed. The mem 
bers of his family, who formerly attended and are still members of 
the New York meeting, receive yearly an affectionate greeting from 
the New York meeting, showing that they are not forgotten. This is 
referred to, to show how careful the Friends are to follow and keep 
in touch with their people. 


stamped upon their faces. They lived the lives they pro 
fessed, they listened to no evil, they saw no evil, they spoke 
no evil. In all the observations relating to moral ethics 
there is nothing more remarkable than this evolution of a 
Quaker character and the production of men and womer 
which bear the closest investigation, who, represent an 
ideal and eminently desirable citizenship. As Elizabeth 
Braithwaite Emmott says: "In the lives of these Friends 
a type of Quakerism was presented to the world somewhat 
different from that of the first period, but nevertheless of a 
rare beauty and strength,, combining perfect dignity of 
manner with wonderful simplicity and sweetness. Its 
power lay in absolute integrity of character, due to constant 
obedience to the inward Guide." 

In 1779, Dr. Fothergill opened the Ackworth School for 
the children of the Friends, the first of a large number 
of such schools established in Great Britain and the Colon 
ies, all of a high order and patronized by "Dissenters" as 
well as Friends, when the rules did not interefere. George 
the III., became interested in Quaker Schools and in their 
appeals for national education. 

One result of the work of a Quaker, Joseph Lawrence, 
was the founding of the British and Foreign School Society. 
The Friends now took the greatest interest in charities and 
philanthropic work of all kinds ; there was not a great move 
ment for betterment in the Georgian period that was not 
aided and abetted by the Quakers. As the initial protest 
ors against slavery, they stood with Wilburforce in 1807 in 
putting down the slave trade. Later Joseph Gurney, Jos 
eph Sturge, and many English Friends, aided by their 
American colleagues, joined Sir T. F. Buxton and Thomas 


Clarkson in fighting this system. Among the strong char 
acters in the eighteenth century was John Woolman, who 
visited America in 1746, and became an earnest worker 
against slavery. His Journal is one of the most valued of 
Quaker character and the production of men and women 
and died in 1772, just previous to the War of American In 
dependence. He will always be identified with the anti- 
slavery movement as carried on by Quakers. Whittier s 
poem, "The Quaker of the Olden Time," might well have 
had for its inspiration John Woolman, who, while he car 
ried to extreme some of the more absurd inconsistencies of 
the Quakers, and was badly handicapped by them, left deep 
impression upon the history of his time for moral uplift. 

A totally different type, more intellectual and represent 
ing in every way the refined and cultivated aristocratic type 
produced by Quakerism, was Elizabeth Fry, who gave the 
strong impetus to prison reform in the eighteenth century. 
Her father was a Friend, John Gurney, of Norwich, a 
banker and a "Quaker Gentleman." Her mother was a grand 
daughter of John Barclay, the author of "The Apology." 
The Gurneys were very cultivated people, who wisely elim 
inated the inconsistencies and non-essentials of Quakerism, 
and were, in a measure, responsible for shaping the general 
policy of Friends as found in England and New England 
to-day. A more beautiful woman than Elizabeth Fry it 
would be difficult to find, and garbed in the costume of the 
Friends, she was a radiant picture of dignity, culture and 
purity. Her reforms among prisons and prisoners became 
a life work. 

Stephen Grellett, a distinguished figure in the Society, 
visited London prisons in 1813, and it was through his 


means that Elizabeth Fry was interested in the work. She 
visited the jails and organized "An Association for the Im 
provement of the Female Prisoners in Newgate." Stephen 
Grellett thus describes the prison on his first visit : "When 
I first entered, the foulness of the air was almost insupport 
able, and everything that is base and depraved was so 
strongly depicted on the faces of the women who stood 
crowded before me, that for a while my soul was greatly 
dismayed : surely then did I witness that the Lord is a refuge 
and strength, his Truth is a shield and buckler. The more 
I beheld the awful consequences of sin, the more also I felt 
the love of Christ, who has come to save, and who had died 
for sinners. As I began to speak under the feeling sense of 
this redeeming love of Christ, their countenances began to 
alter ; soon they hung down their heads ; and tears in abund 
ance were seen to flow. 

I inquired of them if there were any other female prison 
ers in the place, and was told that several sick ones were up 
stairs. On going up, I was astonished beyond description 
at the mass of woe and misery I beheld. I found many 
very sick, lying on the bare floor or on some old straw, hav 
ing very scanty covering over them, though it was quite 
cold; and there were several children born in the prison 
among them, almost naked." The change which followed 
the efforts of Elizabeth Fry is shown by the following de 
scription given by a visitor: 

"The courtyard into which I was admitted instead of be 
ing peopled with beings scarcely human, presented a scene 
where stillness and propriety reigned. I was conducted by 
a decently dressed person, the newly appointed yards- 
woman, to the door of a ward, where, at the head of a long 


table, sat a lady belonging to the Society of Friends. She 
was reading aloud to about sixteen women prisoners, who 
were engaged in needlework around it. Each wore a clean- 
looking blue apron and bib, with a ticket having a number 
on it suspended from her neck by a red tape. They all rose 
on my entrance, curtesied respectfully, and then at a given 
signal resumed their seats and employment." Elizabeth 
Fry stands as the embodiment of the best type of the Quaker, 
a replica of hundreds of women in England and America 
who lent dignity and charm to the Quaker Society. 

In these passing years came the Independence of the 
Colonies, the French Revolution, the establishment of the 
Womens Friends Yearly Meeting, the war with France, 
and the wars against France and Napoleon, 1803-15, the 
introduction of the great reform bill, in nearly all of which 
Quakers had a share or were influenced, and in 1833, the 
year before the Emancipation Act for slaves in the British 
colonies, the Quakers were admitted to Parliament, marking 
1833 as a red letter year in Quaker History. In 1836 The 
Friends Education Society was founded, and the following 
year came the death of George III., and the accession of 

As may be imagined, the literary wits of a later time did 
not neglect the Quakers. Lady Mary Wortley Montague, 
who flourished during the time of Penn, often pierced them 
with her wit, and was as often reproached. In Butler s 
Hudibras, we read 

"Quakers that like to lanterns bear 
Their lights within em, will not swear." 

And all the eccentricities of the Friends were seized upon 
and made the most of. They did not lack defenders, as 


Charles Lamb wrote, "Get the writings of John Woolman 
by heart and love the early Quakers." The Earl of Errol 
doubted their sincerity and wrote, "The Quaker loyalty is 
a qualified loyalty, it smells of rebellion." Lord Chester 
field, of whom Horace Walpole said, "His writings were 
everybody s, that is, whatever came out good was given to 
him, and he was too humble to refuse the gift," was ever 
ready to display his sarcasm at the expense of the Quakers, 
who resented every aspect of his ill-spent life. Henry 
Fielding, "the prose Homer of human nature," gruff Sam 
uel Johnson, Lord Lyttleton, David Hume, Sterne, Garrick, 
Horace Walpole, Smollett, all displayed their witticism at 
the expense of the Quakers. John Wilkes, famous for his 
jests not only on the Quakers, but the Testament, Gold 
smith, whom Horace Walpole called "an Inspired Idiot," 
Edmund Burke, Sheridan, Chatrerton and many more, 
scorned, loved, respected or hated the Quaker, who was en 
cased in an armor of unconsciousness, from which their 
shafts of wit or venom glanced or fell. Of all the literary 
men ofthe early Quaker period, John Milton alone was truly 
in sympathy with them, due to his friendship with Ell- 

In 1799 the Friends faced schism in their Society in Ire 
land. A number of Friends decided that they would sub 
mit the Bible and all things to the weight of reason. They 
were practically Unitarians, and rejected the idea that 
Christ was the Son of God, and considered that the story 
of the Garden of Eden and others, were allegorical. An 
American Friend, Hannah Barnard, now visited Ireland, 
and practically preached this doctrine. The Yearly Meet 
ing of Dublin took up the matter, and instructed the various 


monthly meetings to visit those who entertained these views, 
and "labor with Christian love and tenderness for their 
restoration." The YearlyMeeting also appointed a com 
mittee to visit the Quarterly and Monthly meetings to as 
sist them with advice. The best men in the ministry were 
sent into Ireland to combat this heresy, and when the news 
reached America David Sands of New York and Richard 
Jordon of South Carolina visited the island and endeavored 
to stem the disaffection or "delusion," as they considered it 
So great was the departure to Unitarianism that in Ulster 
many who had been ministers and elders were disowned. 

Here again we see the singular superstition among Friends 
and practically the only one. Some of them firmly believed 
that such action was sure to be followed by Divine retribu 
tion. Thus William Hodgson says, "The hand of Divine 
Providence seemed to be turned in an awful manner against 
these deniers of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus; so that the 
predictions of Richard Jordon and others were remarkably 
verified. Some of them who had lived in affluence, ex 
perienced a sad reverse in their condition; many not only 
lost their religious reputation, but even suffered in their 
moral character, and became an astonishment to their former 
acquaintances. Others, however, awakened by timely 
warning, abandoned their errors, and through the mercy of 
a gracious Redeemer, came to experience repentance and 
forgiveness ; these embraced the Christian religion in renewed 
faith and sincerity, and were restored into the fellow 
ship of the church." 

Long after peace had been declared between the Quakers 
and their many enemies in England they had many sad 
experiences in Ireland. This was in the latter part of the 


eighteenth century (1798) during the reign of George IV. 
At this time, the Friends were well established in Ireland, 
particularly in the east, and as they would not fight with 
the government, nor would they take sides with the Papists 
and other insurgents, they became involved in all the hor 
rors of the civil wars that devastated the country. The 
Friends antagonized the Irish by destroying all their fire 
arms as a protest, or "sign" that it was wrong to go to war 
or to take human life. It soon became Papist against Prot 
estant, and the Friends, as in the Civil War of America, 
cared for the wounded and turned their homes into asylums 
for the destitute and suffering, though many lost their 
homes. While there was much suffering from ungovern 
able mobs, the fact remains that all parties respected the 
Quakers, and when the Royal Army approached, Papists and 
others flocked to the homes of the Quakers, and begged for 
"Quaker coats" that they might be taken for the men who 
would not fight for conscience sake, and so be spared. 

Even priests sought this masquerading. A Protestant 
minister near Enniscorthy tried to obtain a coat, but could 
not, and was later found murdered near the river, where he 
had tried to conceal himself from the Papist mob. Many 
instances in this civil war could be given to illustrate how 
well the Quakers were understood and respected. In one 
house a family of Quakers sat in prayer during a desperate 
battle in their street. When the Royal troops charged, the 
Quakers took an English Papist into their house, bandaged 
his wounds, and requested him to leave, which he did, 
knowing that by remaining he would bring death upon the 
innocent family. In a few moments a Royalist trooper 
came to the door and demanded if they had any Papists 


Kxctcr (ll.i. i) l i>icr 
Milri-rtun (11X0) 

Cheltenham (Upper) 


within. The woman of the house replied no. At this some 
of the men wished to search the place, but the officer stopped 
them, "You are but wasting time, there is no one here. 
These people are Quakers, and they would not lie or deceive 
to save their lives." In all this war, frightful in its excesses, 
it is said that but one Quaker was killed, although the 
towns and villages were wrecked and the streets filled with 



The Quaker invasion of England while it is yet too soon 
to estimate its just value in the evolution of the nation, ex 
erted a marked effect on the morals of the people. It chast 
ened the culture of this great nation; it mellowed the nat 
ional moral sense, and from being a despised and hated peo 
ple in the time of James and Charles the Quaker became a 
type of all that was honored and respected. The London 
University was founded in 1836, the year the Friends estab 
lished the Educational Society. Then came the Repeal of the 
Corn Laws, in which the Friends had a large share, and in 
1847 tne y established the Association of the First Day 

In 1866 non-conformists were admitted to Oxford and 
Cambridge, and the Friends established their Foreign Mis 
sion Societies, and in 1870 they were active in forming the 
National System of Elementary Education. If the great 
movements for education, philanthropy, prison reform and 
charities at large are examined critically, it will be found 
that many were instigated or suggested by Friends, who 
aided in carrying on the work, and who resented public 
ity, as did Elizabeth Fry when she revolutionized prison 
methods in England and personally went to prison ships 
with women convicts and bade them farewell with hope in 
their hearts. 

While the Society became more or less dormant after the 


death of Fox, Penn, and other great leaders, a reaction from 
the years of terror, there came in the nineteenth century in 
England a distinct revival of interest, as there is today in 
the twentieth century, when the Friends are increasing in 

The Emancipation Act was passed in 1833, an d Joseph 
Sturge, Thomas Harvey, and others made the trip to the 
West Indies. As a result of their investigations a resolu 
tion was introduced in the House of Commons, "that negro 
apprenticeship in the British Colonies should cease." This 
was carried by three votes. Sir Thomas F. Buxton, writes, 
"The intelligence was received with such a shout by the 
Quakers (myself among the number) that we were all 
turned out for rioting. I am right glad." 

The Friends now took up a campaign for betterment all 
along the line. They established temperance societies in 
the face of intense opposition. The distress and poverty in 
England appealed to them; they made a careful study of 
the situation, and came to the conclusion that the cure was 
Free Trade. The Friends previous to the time of Victoria, 
or in 1833, had been kept out of Parliment by their refusal 
to take the oath, but now Joseph Pease, a Friend, was re 
turned from South Durham on making an affirmation instead 
of the oath. This was a notable victory and was followed by 
the entrance of many Friends into active political life, fore 
most being John Bright, a Quaker, who lead the great fight 
in Parliment in 1843, with Richard Cobden, for cheap 
bread for the people, securing the repeal of the Corn Laws 
one of the great Quaker victories of the nineteenth cen 
tury. The Friends made themselves especially felt in in 
vestigations into the conditions of the insane, and opened 


the York Retreat, which was the first rational attempt in 
England toward radical reform in this direction. Some 
idea of the activities of the modern Friend is shown by the 
committees which report to the Yearly Meeting in London : 

Home Missions and Extension Committee. Central 
Education Committee. Peace Committee. Anti-Slavery 
Committee. Anti-opium Committee. Friends Tract As 
sociation. Friends First-day School Association, (includ 
ing Adult Schools.) Friends Foreign Mission Association. 
Friends Temperance Union. 

Henry Stanley Newman says in "The Friend," 27th, 12 
mo., 1907, "The more carefully we study the last half- 
century of Quakerism, the greater appears the advance in 
Christian activity. Anyone who carefully reads the ac 
count of London Yearly Meeting in the issues of The 
Friend fifty years ago, will, we think, conclude that the way 
was then being faithfully prepared for the enlargement and 
progress that have happily taken place. In 1857, Joseph 
Thorp, Robert Forster, and Robert Charleton sat as Clerks 
at our Yearly Meeting in London, James Backhouse, Benja 
min Seebohm, John Pease, and Joseph Pease, Peter Bed 
ford, Grover Kemp, Daniel P. Hack, Josiah Forster, Joseph 
Sturge, and Samuel Bowly were active in religious 
services during the various sessions. In 1857, Bristol and 
York made a definite stand for Adult Schools which was 
rapidly followed in the next three or four years in many 
other Friendly centres, William White moving about 
among Friends with his racy narratives of experiences in 
Mens Classes, and their encouraging results." 

Among the notable works of the modern Quaker is the 
Adult School Movement. Joseph Sturge really started 


the movement in Burmingham, the following handbill be 
ing issued: 

"A School is intended to be held on First-day (Sunday) 
evenings, from six to eight o clock, at the British School 
Rooms in Severn Street, chiefly for the purpose of afford 
ing instruction in reading the scriptures, and in writing, to 
youths and young men from fourteen years of age and up 
wards, who are invited to attend. The school to commence 
on the 12th of tenth month, 1845." 

This movement grew until it assumed an international 
importance; other nations, taking it up, and to-day in Eng 
land it has over one thousand schools and one hundred 
thousand members among both sexes. 

The attitude of the Friends to poverty is well illustrated 
by a paper read by B. S. Rowntree at the 1907 Yearly 
Meeting in London; "Why should we not have some such 
query as this: Is the condition of the poor around you a 
matter of Christian solicitude on your part? Do you bear 
in mind that it must be contrary to the will of our Father 
in Heaven that any of His children should be placed in cir 
cumstances, that must inevitably arrest the development of 
their higher nature, and are you taking your right share in 
social service 1 ? Such a query, he tells us, would be but 
the modern echo of the fundamental portion of the message 
of our early Friends. George Fox, placed in Derby House 
of Correction, devoted a portion of the time spent there to 
the study of the social condition of the town, and the state 
of the prisons and prisoners. In 1658, he exhorted the Pro 
tector and the Parliment to do away with beggars, saying 
that want brought people to steal, and that those who were 
rich should provide some employment for the poor or keep 


them out of temptation. He went on to suggest a Govern 
ment Register of Employers requiring labour, and a work 
man out of employ in every market town. In the same 
year Fox appealed for the prohibition of more public houses 
than were necessary for genuine travellers. He persistently 
declaimed in fairs and at market crosses against cheating 
and cozzening in trade." 

The care of their own poor among Quakers is a remark 
able instance of their method. One would live a long time 
among Quakers before he found any poor or indigent. I 
have never seen or heard of a Quaker pauper, though a birth 
right member and living in a large Quaker com 
munity and in a city where the Quakers were rep 
resented by a large meeting. The reason was that 
the Quakers cared for their poor. Until I was well 
grown I supposed that a certain beautiful and cul 
tivated old lady, who lived in a relative s family, 
was a kinswoman. She was a Quaker who had lost all and 
was thus cared for, boarded and clothed, and treated as a 
guest or as one of the family; no one knew that she was an 
object of charity. This concealing the misfortunes of their 
friends or protecting them has created the impression among 
many that the Quakers are inordinately rich. 

George Newman gives an idea of the duties of an English 
Friend: "England s great contribution to the world has 
not been books or navies, but Ideals. And we who are 
Quakers, it is not for us as a Society to administer the Em 
pire, to legislate for communities, to redistribute land or 
wealth. It is for us, and I press it as a great duty laid upon 
us, it is for us to raise in a materialistic age the ideals of 
social reform. More than external environment, more than 


administration of law, is the force of ideals ideals of the 
Kingdom of Home, of Motherhood, of Self-control, of 
Justice and of Stewardship. It is for us to lift the eyes of 
our countrymen to the glory which is to be, to make dreams 
and visions possible, to teach that social responsibility rests 
upon us all, and that personal service is a debt which all 
must pay." 

From this it must not be deemed that Friends do not 
"administer the empire" as, if their full influence could be 
summed up, it could be shown that their influence in politics 
has been potential. John Bright was one of the greatest 
administrators of the empire England has ever had; he 
stands as a milestone in the advancement of this the great 
est of the world s nations. I met in England, at the home 
of Professor Sylvanus Thompson, Mr. Edmund Harvey, 
now representing the English Friends in Parliment. He is 
"administering the empire" and devoting his life to the 
great charities and philanthropies in which he is interested. 

In previous chapters, it will be noticed that early in the 
contest for spiritual life and entity, the Friends spread 
abroad and carried their message to nearly every land. A 
minute of the General Meeting at Skipton, 1660, shows 
what was done at this early day: "We have received 
certain information from some Friends in London of the 
great work and service of the Lord beyond the seas, in sev 
eral parts and regions, as Germany, America, Virginia, and 
many other places, as Florence, Mantua, Palatine, Tuscany, 
Italy, Rome, Turkey, Jerusalem, France, Geneva, Norway, 
Barbadoes, Bermuda, Antigua, Jamaica, Surinam, New 
foundland, through all which Friends have passed in the 

service of the Lord, and divers other places, countries, 



islands and nations, and over and among many nations of 
the Indians, in which they have had service for the Lord and 
have published His name and declared the everlasting 
Gospel of peace unto them that have been afar off, that 
they might be brought nigh unto God." 

If visiting ministers could not pay their way, the meeting 
provided the "third" as the expense was termed, and sent 
them. E. B. Emmott tells the story of Quaker energies in 
the direction of India, Madagascar, Syria, China and Cey 
lon. The work of William Penn is referred to elsewhere, 
but his motive in going to America was to aid the American 
Indians, and the Quaker treatment of them up to 1912 is a 
reproach to all other governments and peoples. Their min 
isters penetrated to extraordinary lands and places. Mary 
Fisher visited the Sultan Mahomet IV. in 1660, and 
Stephen Grellet, James Backhouse, Joseph John Gurney, 
Daniel Wheeler and others travelled to many lands. Dan 
iel Wheeler s life work which ended in New York in 1840 
reads like a romance. A sailor, soldier, serving in Flanders 
in 1794, converted at sea, he became a Friend in Sheffield, 
and in 1816 became a minister. He was now invited to 
Russia by the Emperor to introduce the English method of 
farming. This accomplished, he visited the South Sea 
Islands, preaching, and the remainder of his life was spent 
in continual Christian endeavor. 

Joseph Sturge, previously referred to, was an equally 
valuable unit in this organization for betterment in Eng 
land. His chief work was for peace and the emancipation 
of slavery. The Peace Society was founded in 1816, fol 
lowing the Battle of Waterloo, by Joseph Tregelles Price, 
William Allen and others, and in 1818 Sturge organized 

/. A / /, /v X/v .YVM 77 I /: K\ (!IJXII / / //v.YDN 
liniitliirnitc. Daniel \Vlirclrr. JoNC/ili liernn BraithlCdite, 

./OIfDA\ $ MEETING 7/or/s /-; .4 A 7) / A TV If /<>/> 


an auxiliary of the Society in Worcester, and from then 
until the day of his death in 1869, he worked for peace or 
arbitration. He was a protestant at the Chinese war, 1839. 
He addressed a peace conference in Boston in 1841, and was 
a delegate to many peace conferences in London, Germany, 
France and America. In 1858 he was chosen President of 
the Peace Society. His work against slavery was equally 
important and he was a factor in the Act passed in 1834 
which abolished slavery in the West Indies. In 1839 he 
founded The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and 
in 1840 the convention was held with five hundred dele 
gates present, presided over by Thomas Clarkson. 

In 1841 Sturge visited America to investigate slavery 
and met Whittier, the American poet. A volume might be 
written on the lives of these British Quakers, of the early 
and late Victorian period, who devoted themselves to the 
cause of humanity and the effort to make their country first 
morally as well as a world power. Dr. William Wilson, 
missionary and organizer, stands out in strong relief from 
1866 to 1909 for his remarkable work in Madagascar, 
Ceylon, Syria and India, Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, as 
well known in America as in England, was a striking figure 
among the English Friends of the Victorian era. He began 
his ministry in 1844 an d travelled practically all over the 
world, preaching and teaching. The telepathic faculty, if 
one may so term it, so often noticed in Friends, was illus 
trated in Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, when he was riding 
with the son of Charles F. Coffin, a well known American 
Friend. After a service at the Indiana Yearly Meeting, 
with his friends, George Tatham, Mayor of Leeds, and 
Richard Littleboy, an English banker, Braithwaite ex- 


pressed a "concern"; namely, a strong inclination to ride, 
and they were taken to New Garden by Mr. Coffin. Near 
the toll gate the minister said, "Charles, I feel a call to 
some one in that house." Coffin repeated this to the woman 
who came to collect the toll : "This Friend feels a concern 
towards someone here." She at once replied that her hus 
band was very ill, and would be glad to see him, so they 
all went into the house and held a short service, most ac 
ceptable to the invalid, who, it is said, had the "feeling 
that a messenger had come to him from above." 

The peculiar "sense" of the Friends by which they had 
"concerns," is an interesting subject for the psychologist. 
Many of the ministers who suddenly decided to leave home 
and travel were instigated by this "concern"; in other 
words, they felt a strong demand upon them that they should 
go to certain places. This was seriously presented to the 
meeting, and if favorably acted upon, the meeting would 
give the minister a letter of recommendation, and defray 
all or a part of his expenses. 

Two English Friends, Caroline E. Talbot and Elizabeth 
Comstock, both living in America, who were very often 
influenced in this way, were well known to me. I once 
accompanied the latter on a "concern" to the prison at 
Baltimore, where she preached to the prisoners and swayed 
a vast audience in a miraculous manner. These ministers 
were noted for strange and interesting happenings or experi 
ences; the result of "concerns" which formed a happy 
part of their lives, and due to which they were able to 
accomplish much good. 

Mention of the dominant figures in the Friends 
Society of England would not be complete with- 


out reference to Isaac Sharp, who spent his life in visiting 
"widely scattered communities of Friends." The Society 
of Friends in England has not increased as rapidly in num 
bers as in some other localities, but few sects have made 
themselves felt more in the general uplift; and one does not 
need to visit the Westminister or other meetings in London 
to know that no people stand higher, or exercise a stronger 
influence than the Friends, whose word is, in the transac 
tion of business, as good as a bond. 

There is at the present time, 1913, a decided increase in 
interest among Friends, and they number in all about one 
hundred and thirty-five thousand, as follows: 

London yearly meeting, including Australia general 

meeting 19,700 

Dublin Yearly Meeting 2,500 

Members at foreign stations, etc 2,800 

Europe, South Africa 300 

American Yearly Meetings 95,500 

American foreign stations 37OO 

Wilburite 12,000 


London may be considered the central point of interest of 
the Society, as at Devonshire House, there is a treasure 
house of historical data relating to the history of the 
Friends, collected by Isaac Sharp and Norman Penney, 
members of the Society, whose influence in the Society is 
strong, virile and enduring, and to whom all American 
visiting Friends will have a high appreciation. 

In the year 1680 the first systematic efforts were made 
according to Norman Penny, the distinguished librarian 


of Devonshire House, to collect historical data relating to 
the Friends. This was thirty years after George Fox began 
his work. In 1704 "Directions to collect matters for a 
general History of the Entrance and Progress of Truth in 
this age, by way of Annals" was made, but it was not until 
that active, reliable work was begun in the way of securing 
data; and in 1907 Devonshire House issued its first volume 
of "The First Publishers of Truth," which relates to many 
old manuscripts which have long been held in the strong 

Among the many Friends who did yoeman service in the 
Victorian Era are, George Richardson of Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, deeply interested in foreign missions, Rachel Metcalf, 
whose work in Indian schools has been of great value, the 
Friends having a district in India as large as Scotland, 
about five hundred miles east of Bombay. One recalls 
David Jones and Thomas Bevan when thinking of Mada 
gascar, Joseph S. Sewell, Louis and Sarah Street, and in 
1867, Helen Gilpin. These Friends had over two hundred 
thousand natives under their care and a district as large 
as Middlesex, Essex and Hertfordshire. Robert J. and 
Mary J. Davidson carry on the Friends mission work in 
West China, and the English Friends have constantly 
fought the opium curse of China. 

"Take away your opium," said a Chinaman to an Eng 
lish Missionary, and "Then we will be ready to talk about 
your Ya Su (Jesus)," a sentence that speaks with the 
volume of a thousand conferences and conventions. In 
1896 Joseph and Francis J. Malcomson began work in 
the mission field of Ceylon, and to-day eleven Friends and 
sixty natives are working for the moral uplift. The 


Friends Foreign Missionary Association in the fullness of 
its work alone is a sufficient apology, if one were demanded, 
for the English Invasion of Quakers in the Seventeenth 
Century, and it should be emphasized that the work of 
Friends is not to be expressed by their numerical strength. 

There are five great "fields" of work of the F. F. M. A. : 
India, Syria, (in which Sybil and Eli Jones labored so 
faithfully), Madagascar, China and Ceylon. Besides these 
centres, work is done in France, Japan, Constantinople, 
Armenia, Pemba and other places. Work of intense in 
terest and value, as shown by the 1907 annual report of the 
Association "Our Missions." A strong and helpful associa 
tion is The Missionaries Helpers Union, founded in 1883 
by Ellen Barclay, which now has two hundred and sixty- 
three branches. In the world at large one hears but little 
of the work of English Friends because the innate modesty 
which found its first expression in 1650, "let not thy right 
hand," etc. still holds; but the Friends have suggested many 
of the most important religious works in England. They 
do not advertise their good deeds, and often unknown and 
unheralded, stand behind other societies with financial and 
other aid; in a word, it is not credit but results they aim at. 
The outlook of the Friends in England is distinctly encour 
aging. The London Yearly Meeting includes England, 
Scotland, Wales and Australia, New Zealand and South 
Africa. Ireland has in Dublin a strong half yearly meeting, 
which was established in 1670 and has continued without 
break since 1793. 

Reference has been made to the methods of the Friends 
in securing in perpetuity the near to perfection moral tone 
of its people, which is the most extraordinary feature of its 


corporate body. Eternal vigilance has been the rule. The 
mere suspicion of evil or digression from the standard is 
noted, and if the offending party cannot conform to the 
standard after repeated conferences, as a last resort, he 
or she is "disowned." By elimination and jurisdiction, then, 
the Society of Friends has produced this extraordinary body, 
so strong a factor in the moral uplift of England. To come 
to the actual methods of these people, the modus operandi 
of spiritual purification, or the method of not only being 
good but of keeping good, we see it in the time-honored 
system of "Queries," which are an everpresent feature of 
all meetings. The following are Queries issued by the 
English Friends Meeting, and read by the clerk to the 

1st. What is the religious state of your Meeting? Are 
you, individually, giving evidence of true conversion of 
heart, and of loving devotedness to Christ*? 

2nd. Are your Meetings for worship regularly held; 
and how are they attended? Are they occasions of religious 
solemnity and edification, in which, through Christ, our ever- 
living High Priest and Intercessor, the Father, is worshiped 
in Spirit and in truth"? 

3rd. Do you "walk in love, as Christ also hath loved 
us*?" Do you cherish a forgiving spirit*? Are you careful 
of the reputation of others; and do you avoid and discour 
age tale-bearing and detraction*? 

4th. Are you individually frequent in reading, and dili 
gent in meditating upon the Holy Scriptures ? Are parents 
and heads of households in the practice of reading them in 
their families in a devotional spirit, encouraging any right 
utterance of prayer or praise? 


5th. Are you in the practice of private retirement and 
waiting upon the Lord; in everything by prayer and sup 
plication, making your requests known unto him*? And 
do you live in habitual dependence upon the help and guid 
ance of the Holy Spirit ? 

6th. Do you maintain a religious life and conversation 
as becometh the Gospel? Are you watchful against con 
formity to the world; against the love of ease and self-in 
dulgence; or being unduly absorbed by your outward con 
cerns to the hindrance of your religious progress and your 
service for Christ"? And do those who have children or 
others under their care endeavor, by example and precept, 
to train them up as self-denying followers of the Lord Jesus 3 

yth. Do you maintain a faithful allegiance to the 
authority of our Lord Jesus Christ as the one Head of the 
Church, and the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, from whom 
alone must come the true call for qualification and ministry 
of the world ? And are you faithful in your testimony to 
the freeness and spirituality of the Gospel dispensation? 

8th. Are you faithful in maintaining our Christian 
testimony against all war, as inconsistent with the precepts 
and spirit of the Gospel? 

9th. Do you maintain strict integrity in all your trans 
actions in trade, and in your other outward concerns? And 
are you careful not to defraud the public revenue? 

loth. Are your meetings for Church affairs regularly 
held, and how are they attended? Are these Meetings 
vigilant in the discharge of their duties toward their sub 
ordinate Meetings, and in watching over the flock in the 
love of Christ? When delinquencies occur, are they treated 
timely, impartially, and in a Christian spirit? And do you, 


individually, take your right share in the attendance and 
service of these Meetings ? 

l ith. Do you, as a Church, exercise a loving and watch 
ful care over the young people in your different congrega 
tions; promoting their instruction in fundamental Christian 
truth and in the Scriptural grounds of our religious prin 
ciples; and manifesting an earnest desire that, through the 
power of Divine grace, they may all become established 
in the faith and hope of the Gospel ? 

12th. Do you fulfill your part as a Church, and as 
individuals, in promoting the cause of truth and righteous 
ness, and the spread of the Redeemer s Kingdom at home 
and abroad*?" 

The following are general advices addressed by the 
English Meeting to "our members" and to all who meet 
with us in public worship: "Take heed, dear Friends, we 
entreat you, to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, who 
leads, through unfeigned repentance, and living faith in the 
Son of God, to reconciliation with our Heavenly Father, 
and to the blessed hope of eternal life, purchased for us 
by the one offering of our Lord and Savious Jesus Christ. 

"Be earnestly concerned in religious meetings reverently 
to present yourselves before the Lord; and seek, by the 
help of the Holy Spirit, to worship God through Jesus 

"Prize the privilege of access to Him unto the Father. 
Continue instant in prayer, and watch in the same with 

"Be in frequent practice of waiting upon the Lord in 
private retirement, honestly examining yourselves as to 
your growth in grace, and your preparation for the life to 


"Be diligent in the private perusal of the Holy Scrip- 
stures; and let the daily reading of them in your families 
be devoutly conducted. 

"Be careful to make a profitable and religious use of 
those portions of time on the first day of the week, which 
are not occupied by our Meetings for Worship. 

"Live in love as Christian brethren, ready to be helpful 
one to another, and sympathizing with each other in the 
trials and afflictions of life. Watch over one another for 
good, manifesting an earnest desire that each may possess 
a well-grounded hope in Christ. 

"Follow peace with all men, desiring true happiness of 
all. Be kind and liberal to the poor; and endeavor to 
promote the temporal, moral, and religious well-being of 
your fellowmen. 

"With a tender conscience, in accordance with the pre 
cepts of the Gospel, take heed to the limitations of the 
Spirit of Truth in the pursuit of the things of this life. 

"Maintain strict integrity in your transactions in trade, 
and in all your outward concerns. Guard against the spirit 
of speculation, and the snare of accumulating wealth. Re 
member that we must account for the mode of acquiring, as 
well as for the manner of using, and finally disposing of, 
your possessions. 

"Observe simplicity and moderation in your deportment 
and attire, in the furniture in your houses, and in your style 
and manner of living. Carefully maintain in your own 
conduct, and encourage in your families, truthfulness and 
sincerity; and avoid worldliness in all its forms. 

"Guard watchfully against the introduction into your 
households of publications of a hurtful tendency! and 


against such companionships, indulgences, and recreations, 
whether for yourselves or your children, as may in any wise 
interfere with a growth of grace. 

"Avoid and discourage every kind of betting and gam 
bling, and such speculation in commercial life as partakes 
of a gambling character. 

"In view of the manifold evils arising from the use of 
intoxicating liquors, prayerfully consider whether your 
duty to God and to your neighbor does not require you to 
abstain from using them yourselves or offering them to 
others, and from having any share in their manufacture or 

"Let the poor of this world remember that it is our 
Heavenly Father s will that all His children should be rich 
in faith. Let your lights shine in lives of honest industry, 
and patient love. Do your utmost to maintain yourselves 
and your families in an honourable position, and, by prud 
ent care in time of health, to provide for sickness and old 
age, holding fast by the promise, I will never leave thee 
nor forsake thee. 

"In contemplating the engagement of marriage, look 
principally to that which will help you on your heaven 
ward journey. Pay filial regard to the judgment of your 
parents. Bear in mind the vast importance, in such a union, 
of an accordance in religious principles and practice. Ask 
counsel of God; desiring, above all temporal considerations, 
that your union may be owned and blessed of Him. 

"Watch with Christian tenderness over the opening minds 
of your children; inure them to habits of self-restraint and 
filial obedience; carefully instruct them in the knowledge 
of the Holy Scriptures; and seek for ability to imbue their 


hearts with the love of their Heavenly Father, their Re 
deemer, and Sanctifier. 

"Finally, dear Friends, let your whole conduct and con 
versation be such as become the Gospel. Exercise your 
selves to have always a conscience void of offense toward 
God and toward men. Be steadfast and faithful in your 
allegiance and service to your Lord; continue in his love; 
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond 
of peace ." 

It is the following of such precepts, the reiteration of 
these Queries, and the insistence of committees and fellow 
members that has built up and produced the Society of 
Friends in England, a dominant spiritual, civic and polit 
ical force, that has aided in making England what it is, 
a leading Christian nation of the world. 

The Quakers have been so modest and retiring that few 
of their deeds have reached the world at large. We hear 
much of their so-called peculiarities, their silent meetings, 
their "thee" and "thou" ; but how many persons know that 
the Quaker, Edmund Pease of Darlington, financed and 
made possible the first railway line in England, the one 
between Stockton and Darlington. His clear, working 
mind saw the inestimable advantages to mankind, and in 
the face of much quiet sarcasm from the business men of 
the time, he came to the front. The fine midland system 
was the work of Friend Ellis of Leicester. The first rail 
way guide was invented or conceived by a Quaker named 
Bradshaw, while another Quaker, quick to perceive that the 
method of "booking" was cumbersome, invented the rail 
way ticket and the machine for stamping it. Some of the 
largest importers of England have been Quakers. The cocoa 


trade was organized by the Cadburys of Burmingham, the 
Frys of Bristol and Rowntrees of York. It was a Quaker 
named Bryant who conceived the idea of the modern match. 
One day he dipped a sliver of wood into phosphorus, 
scratched it, and presto! the modern match came into use, 
and with the man to whom he first showed it, a Quaker 
named May, he began manufacturing. Bryant and May 
held a large place in the economic honor list of the world s 
little known industrial celebrities. It was a Quaker 
(Rickett) who made a fortune by discovering that a cer 
tain blue would give an attractive color to white cloths 
when being laundered. It is the small things which often 
produce the greatest results. Elizabeth Fry, by visiting 
felons and trying quietly to alleviate their condition, started 
prison reform. 

Among Elizabeth Fry s descendants are Sir Theodore 
Fry, well known for his philanthropy and interest in the 
great economic questions underlying good government. He 
is the head of the great iron manufacturing firm of Theodore 
Fry & Company, Limited; the famous ex-judge of the 
Appeal Court, Sir Edward Fry, and the member of Parlia 
ment for the Northern Division of Bristol, Mr. Louis Fry, 
are also descendants of this distinguished and beautiful 
woman, whose influence is still active and whose memory 
is honored wherever the English language is spoken. 

Many Quaker families in England used little round 
cakes, and thinking the world at large would be interested, 
one of their number named Palmer began the manufactury 
of crackers at Redding, and the great manufacturing firm 
of Huntley & Palmer became famous. On the banks of 
the Thames stands the famous Cleopatra s Needle. When 


Founder of "Prison Kcform" 

Gulielina I enn 


the subject of bringing it from Alexandria, Egypt, was first 
suggested, it was considered impossible. Indeed, it was 
hinted that the Khedive had given it to England believing 
that the British with all their cleverness could not carry 
it off. Numbers of engineers were consulted, but the deed 
was finally accomplished by two English Quaker engineers. 
A Friend named Tange lifted it and brought it to England, 
where another Quaker engineer by the name of Dixie, 
poised it accurately on its pedestal. There is hardly a 
great institution in trade in the empire that has not been 
elevated, dignified, or improved by the Quakers. The 
marvelous banking system of Great Britain owes its influ 
ence and stability, its very existence, to the Quakers, Gurney 
& Company, Oberend, Barclay, Bevan & Company. The 
founder of the latter house is a lineal descendant of Robert 
Barclay,so often referred to in this volume, whom Whittier, 
the American poet immortalized as The Laird of Ury. 
Lord Lister, who discovered anti-septic surgery, and for 
whom Listerine and various anti-septics are named, was a 
plain Friend, who indirectly saved thousands of lives by 
his simple attempts to alleviate the sufferings of patients 
in the hospitals. Another Friend, Dr. Birkbeck, founded 
the first Mechanics Institute. Neal Dow, the temperance 
reformer, was an English Friend. William Edward Forster, 
Quaker, was the founder of the Education Acts that have 
been productive of widespread good. 

During a ride along the Riviera in 1911 I crossed the 
Italian line, and heard that a Quaker had made one of the 
most beautiful gardens in the world on the shores of the 
Mediterranean. A day was spent in the grounds of Mor- 
tola, enjoying its radiant vistas, its long reaches of verdure, 


its trees, shrubs and plants from every clime, backed against 
the splendid blue of the Mediterranean. 

This was Mortola, the Italian home of the Marquis of 
Mortola, once Sir Thomas Hanbury, famous as a Quaker 
botanist and chemist. A small entrance fee was charged for 
the benefit of local charities, and the beautiful estate an in 
spiration in every sense, was practically open to the world. 
Thomas Lawson, a friend of William Penn, was also a well 
known botanist. He refers to his work in the following 
letter to Sir John Rodes : 

"Greatstrickland, 18 of mo. 90. 
My Friend: 

Though unknown by face, yet hearing several 
months ago, that thou was tinctur d with inclination after 
the knowledge of plants, the products of the earth, I am 
indue d to write these lines unto thee. Severall years I 
have been concern d in schooling, yet, as troubles attended 
me for Nonconformity, I made it my business to search most 
countries and corners of this land, with severall of pro- 
monteries, islands, and peninsulas thereof, in order to ob 
serve the variety of plants there described or nondescripts, 
as, also, Monuments, Antiquities, Memorable things, where 
by I came to be acquainted with most of the Lovers of 
Botany and of other rarities of the Royal Society and 
others, in this Kingdom and other places. 

Now some years ago, George Fox, William Penn, and 
others were concerned to purchase a piece of land near Lon 
don for the use of a Garden Schoolhouse and a dwelling- 
house for the Master, in which garden, one or two or more 
of each sorte of our English plants were to be planted, as 
also many outlandish plants. My purpose was to write a 


book on these in Latin, so as a boy had the description of 
these in book-lessons, and their virtues, he might see these 
growing in the garden, or plantation, to gaine the know 
ledge of them; but persecutions and troubles obstructed the 
prosecution hereof, which the Master of Christ s College in 
Cambridge hearing of, told me was a noble and honourable 
undertaking, and would fill the Nation with philosophers. 
Adam and his posterity, if the primitive originall station 
had been kept, had had no book to mind, but God himself, 
the book of life, and the book of the Creation, and they that 
grow up in the knowledge of the Lord and his Creation, 
they are the true philosophers. Solomon wrote from the 
Cedar of Lebanon to the hysop upon the wall ; the works of 
the Lord, saith the holy man, are wonderful, sought out by 
those that have a pleasure therein, his Work within and his 
Works without, even the least of plants preaches forth the 
power and the wisdom of the Creator, and, ey d in the 
sparke of eternity, humbles man. 

Now, if thou have an inclination after these things, and 
dost conclude the knowledge of them usefull, I could will 
ingly abandon my employ of schooling here, and, being with 
thee, lay out myselfe for thy improvement in Latin, Greek, 
and Hebrew; and for the knowledge of plants, and without 
any great charge, could bring in 2 or 3 of the most parte or 
of all the trees and shrubs and plants in England, into a 
plot of ground for that purpose prepared, and many out 
landish plants also. 

And if thou would incline to the propagating of wood, we 
might prepare a nourcery (nursery), where seeds being 
sown, and young plants set to grow till fit to be removed 
into other grounds a work in no ways dishonourable, but 

very useful and profitable. 


I have not much more to write, but unfeignedly to ac 
quaint thee that want of employ or beneficial place is not 
the primum mobile, as I may say, which, if I were there, I 
could satisfy thee herein. 

I purpose also, (if the Lord please,) to put forth an 
Herbal specialty of English plants. I am also pretty for 
ward with a piece I call Flosculi Brittannie, given in Lat. a 
description of every country in England, the principal pro 
ducts of each county, why Cities, Towns, Rivers are called 
as they are called, and of the Antiquitities, monuments, 
memorable occurrences, tropical plants of each county, in 
reading of which a scholar not only improves in the 
language but can give an account of the nation, as if he had 
travel d it through. 

No more, but unfeign d love to thee and to thy Mother 
to whom I desire thee to show this ,and I desire a few lines 
shortly from thee, Thy truly Lo. f frd, 

Tho. Lawson."* 

The farmer is indebted to a Quaker, Ransome, of 
Ipswich, for the first chilled plough, the manufacture of 
which became an important business, employing hundreds 
of men. The vast foundries at Coalbrookdale, England, 
well known during at least three generations, were founded 
by a Quaker named Abraham, who brought over the secret 
of casting iron from Holland. 

Many of the greatest names in England have come from 
Quaker ancestors or have family ties with them. London 

*I am indebted to Mrs. Godfrey Locker Lampson, author of "A 
Quaker Post Bag," published by Longmans Green & Co., for permis 
sion to copy this and the foregoing letter from William Penn to Sir 
John Rodes. 


has had at least two Quaker lord mayors, Sir Robert Fowler, 
of Quaker family, having served twice. Sir Walter Scott 
had Quaker blood in his veins. Lord Macaulay, the histor 
ian, was a descendant of Quakers, his mother being one. 
The decipherer of the Egyptian Cuneiform Inscriptions was 
a Quaker, Sir Henry Rawlinson. Modern shipbuilding 
owes much to the Quakers. The first large shipbuilder in 
America was the author s second great grandfather Daniel 
Holder, a Quaker, (1750), of Nantucket. The splendid 
trans-oceanic service to-day accomplished by the Cunards, is 
due to the Quaker, Sir Samuel Cunard, who founded Atlantic 
steam navigation. Examinations into the dominant influ 
ences and personalities in every department of life discovers 
a Quaker or some one of Quaker descent. In law, Lord 
Lyndhurst; engineering, Bolton, who made the Watt engine 
practical. Dr. Tregellis, the Bibical student; the tutor of 
King Edward, Dr. Birch; and in philanthrophy Sir T. 
Fowell. Among modern scientists we have Professor 
Sylvanus Thompson. Indeed, if mere mention of the 
names of Friends of distinction was made, the list would be 
long and suggestive. They set an example to the world for 
pure, clean business and living, and that they had a pre 
eminently practical side of inestimable value to the world, 
is more than evidenced. 


In the review of the political and religious evolution of 
the English Friends or Quakers it will have been observed 
that the primal or original intention of George Fox was not 
to organize a Society, to form a church, or to collect about 
him a band of followers. In plain words, he was keenly 
alive to the immorality of the times, the tendency to sensuous 
life and living, and felt called upon to rebuke it. This call, 
"concern," urgent conscientiousness, unrest, call it what you 
will, was believed by him to be the voice of God, speaking 
to him and urging him on to rebuke the existent condition 
of things. He obeyed it. Followers accumulated, and the 
demand for organization came as a natural sequence or 
effect of the dominant cause of Quakerism. The evolution 
of the Society has been sketched side by side with the polit 
ical events in England, which affected it, but I refer now to 
the assumption of shape and form of the meeting. 

The first meetings were in private houses, as at Judge 
Fell s and others, but when organization was attempted they 
followed the general plan of simplicity which characterized 
all the life of the Friends. The policy was to do away witn 
paid ministry, with all form, yet it was evident that some 
distinctive organization and head or responsible members 
would have to have a place, and we find instead of Bishops, 
presbyteries and deacons which held in the nonconformist 
churches, they had ministers, elders and over-seers. In a 
word, these three individualities were found to be insistent. 


and forced themselves on the Society, or could not be 
avoided. These terms held at the close of the eighteenth cen 
tury, but Robert Barclay claimed that in the seventeenth 
century an elder was an "acknowledged minister." The 
typical English meeting was a plainly furnished room with 
one "high seat," and usually a "facing seat" below the 
former. In the middle of the nineteenth century the "el 
ders," at least in America, sat there, while the ministers who 
habitually spoke occupied the "high seat," the women on 
one side, the men on the other. Later, in more elaborate 
meetings there were rooms for the business meetings of men 
or women; or the meeting house could be divided with 
doors or partitions. Many of the old meeting houses are 
now in use in England, and attractive in their primitive 

What organization there was at first came about as a re 
sult of Friends endeavoring to help their companions in 
jails. It was necessary to have some system, some organ 
ization to carry on this work thoroughly. In 1653 the 
Friends of Durham held a monthly meeting, and in the bus 
iness transacted here they decided that "some of every meet 
ing" should meet "every first seventh day of each month." 
Swarthmore Meeting at the home of Judge Fell soon adop 
ted this, and very deliberately, and in the face of some op 
position, it became the custom. 

The first General Meeting, as we have seen, was held at 
Swannington in 1654, and was attended not only by Qua 
kers, but "Ranters, Baptists, and other professors came." At 
these meetings money was raised for the aid of imprisoned 
Friends, and inquiries made and reports received. And we 
see the incipient "business meeting" in an early stage of its 


evolution; or as T. Edmund Harvey M. P. says in his "Rise 
of the Quakers," thus we have at once the germs of a busi 
ness meeting for church affairs, and it would seem that 
minutes made at the General Meeting were taken home by 
Friends attending it in their own districts." 

The General Meeting doubtless soon took shape as a dis 
tinctive Friends Meeting, as George Fox says, "And so to 
Skipton wheer there was a General Meeting of Men 
Friends."* And again, "We came to Street and to William 
Beatons at Puddimore, where we had a very large "General 

In this General Meeting are found the elements of the 
Quarterly and Yearly Meetings of to-day. The name yearly 
was doubtless first employed at Scalehouse Skipton, in 
1658, and on sixth month, ninth, 1661, George Rolf atten 
ded a General Meeting in Newport, America. In 1666 
George Fox writes, "then I was moved of the Lord to 
recommend the setting up of five monthly meetings of men 
and women in the City of London." Fox evidently had 
studied the situation carefully, and his plan, which ulti 
mately worked out, was remarkable for its efficiency and in 
holding the people together in widely separate districts. His 
plan was as follows: He collected a certain number of 
Meetings in a neighborhood into a Monthly Meeting. In 
other words, once a month representatives of the men and 
women in these meetings attended the central Monthly 
Meeting. Then over larger districts (including the Monthly 

*William Beaton was a Friend of large means. I have in my pos 
session a copy of his widow s will. She became in 1682 the third wife 
of Christopher Holder and upon her death left part of her estate to 
the three children of Christopher Holder 2nd. 


Meetings) he established Quarterly Meetings, to which 
delegates and representatives went. 

Finally over all was the Yearly Meetings, at which the 
entire country was represented as to-day. The Yearly 
Meeting of London, includes England, Scotland and Aus 
tralia. Harvey says: "It was in the Monthly Meetings 
that the life of the early Quaker organization was centered, 
but four times a year delegates from a group of these met 
along with others who were able to attend in the Quarterly 
Meeting, whose boundaries usually followed those of the 
different counties, while from 1672 onwards these were in 
their turn grouped together into a Yearly Meeting for the 
whole country, which was regularly held from this date on 
wards in London about Whitsuntide. The earlier General 
Meetings which had preceded this still continued to be held 
at Bristol and in other places for long after this date, 
though they soon ceased to have legislative power. A 
Yearly Meeting for Women Friends was held during the 
latter part of the seventeenth, and the first few years of the 
eighteenth century in York, issuing an Epistle and corre 
sponding with subordinate Meetings. 

At length, after a considerable interval of time, a Wom 
en s Yearly Meeting was established in 1784, in London, 
at the same time as the Yearly Meeting for men, and since 
1896 these have met in joint session when matters involving 
decisions of importance to the whole Society are under dis 

There was still another meeting in London in 1673, the 
"Second Day Morning Meeting." This was held at 
private homes and attended by visiting Friends. Harvey 
says regarding it : "At its first recorded sitting the "Morn- 


ing Meeting" directed Ellis Hookes, the clerk of the Yearly 
Meeting, to attend in future to record its minutes, and after 
meeting for some time at various houses (such as that of 
Gerard Roberts, and that of Ann Travers, at Horslydown) 
it soon came to meet regularly in the clerk s chamber. We 
find this body approving the establishment of new Meetings 
in London or the neighborhood, sending out (27 XI 1689) 
a paper to the various Quarterly Meetings and Monthly 
Meetings on the question of marriages, answering epistles 
from abroad, and from various Quarterly Meetings at 
home, and receiving complaints as to Friends travelling as 
ministers whose services were felt to be misplaced ,and 
authorizing others to go on service both at home and 

The method followed in 1675" was, that quarterly repre 
sentatives or delegates for all the districts should meet in 
London to receive reports and take action. In these meet 
ings, the representatives from London Meetings acted as a 
sub-committee with powers to call the meeting whenever oc 
casion required. This "quarterly" was ultimately merged 
into a "monthly." There has been but little change in pro 
cedure from these early times, and the modern meetings are 
held in much the same manner as in the earlier days. In 
the business meetings the chief functuary is the "clerk" who 
takes the place of a "chairman," but has few of the offices 
of one, and may have one or more assistants. Business of 
various kinds has accumulated and the clerk reads the state 
ments to the meeting, or presents it from memory. There 
may be a prayer preceding it, or a silent meeting, or some 
Friend feels called upon to give a short sermon on the duties 
of Friends. 


It must be considered in order, no vote is taken, each in 
dividual member has the right to express his opinion on the 
subject; and after a while when the clerk considers that he 
has the "sense of the meeting" in hand, he embodies it in a 
draft minute, which he reads to the meeting, embodying 
later any corrections or pseudo amendments which may be 
suggested. The prime characteristic is that the "sense of 
the meeting," i. e., the opinion of those present is obtained 
by the Clerk without a vote. 

In the meeting in New England, the clerk obtained 
his information by an individual expression, members 
rising and saying, "I coincide, or I am in sympathy 
with concurrence;" or "It is agreeable to me." This took 
much more time than a vote and rarely did a majority ex 
press its opinion for or against; but time was not a factor 
in these meetings. It will be seen that the Clerk must be a 
clever person with judicial instincts, as he is called upon to 
embody in his minute a decision that expresses the sentiment 
of the meeting when there has been no vote and no debate. 
The reason of this and the absence of votes, oratory, speeches, 
applause, or demonstrations of any kind, is that while a 
business meeting is progressing, the element of sanctity is 
always present, and the guiding presence of the Creator is 
acknowledged with meekness and dignity. To quote again 
from Harvey : "The method thus adopted may perhaps be 
slow and often results in the temporary postponement of 
some desired change in deference to the strong wish of a 
small majority. But it remains a striking example of the 
fundamental belief of Quakerism, and in the reality of the 
divine presence dwelling among st men and controlling 
every thought and act of life." 


With the growth and evolution of the Society of Friends 
in England came meeting-houses, libraries and various 
societies. The meeting-houses of Friends in England to-day 
have a sentimental and historic interest, particularly Jord- 
on s Westminster and Devonshire House in Bishop s Gate 
Street, Without. The later has been used for a century or 
more as the headquarters of the Society of Friends in Eng 
land, and since 1794, with the exception of 1905, and 1908, 
has been used by the Yearly Meeting. Here are the clerks 
offices, the committee rooms, and the fine, indeed unrivalled 
library of Friends books and manuscripts. The buildings 
stand on the site of a previous meeting house, which was 
destroyed by the London fire, which also reduced to ashes 
the first Friends Meeting Place in London the Bull and 
Mouth, in St. Martins-Le-Grand, where the General Post 
Office now stands. 

When they were burned out in 1666, the Friends obtained 
for temporary use some rooms in the residence of the Earl 
of Devonshire, just "without" Bishop s Gate; and here the 
Friends of the time of George Fox held their meetings, 
while the buildings of the city were being re-built, mainly 
under the general supervision of Sir Christopher Wren, a 
brother-in-law of Dr. Wm. Holder. The meeting house 
known as Bull and Mouth was replaced and used up to 
1740. Friends also purchased property in the center of the 
city near Grace Church and Lombard Streets and established 
the White Hart Court Meeting House; yet they still con 
tinued to use the rooms in Devonshire House. 

The original house was built by Jasper Fisher who so 
nearly ruined himself in building it, that it became known 
as Fisher s Folly. The Earl of Devonshire bought it from 


him. Here some of the earliest yearly meetings in London 
were held. The original lease of Devonshire House was 
April 3rd, 1667., In 1678, the Friends rented a part of 
Devonshire House grounds and built a meeting house about 
forty feet square, which had an approach from Cavendish 
Court by a lobby which lead into the house. It had various 
rooms in a second story and others below which could be 
added to the meeting. The furnishing then was more or 
less crude, and up to 1741 none of the seats had backs. In 
1745 the room was used as a guard house for troops, the 
Friends loyally giving it up (strange to say) to King 
George who was threatened by the Pretender. In 1766 
the property was purchased by Thomas Talwin for seven 
hundred pounds, who generously gave it to the Society for 
three hundred pounds. 

There were now six Monthly Meetings in London ; others 
being Westminster, Peel, Grace Church Street, Ratcliff and 
Southwark. The Friends had increased in number, and 
more room being needed the meeting for Sufferings bought 
an old inn, The Dolphin, near Devonshire House, which 
was reached from Bishop s Gate Street and extended back 
to Cavendish Court. Here in 1793-4 two houses were built 
with a capacity of a thousand persons; one for men and one 
for women. In later years this was added to, and in 1835 
a block in Cavendish Court and houses on Devonshire Street 
were bought. And again in 1868-1875 houses were bought 
in Hounds Ditch and Bishop s Gate. This gave the 
Society a large and valuable property suitable for all pur 
poses. In 1866 an Institute was added; other changes fol 
lowed so that the premises, so valuable historically, provided 
a home for many Friends Associations, including the Friends 


Foreign Missions Associations, the Home Mission and Ex 
tension Committees, the First Day School Association, and 
the Friends Temperance Union. 

In all probability there is no Friends Meeting House in 
the World that is so commodious as Devonshire House, as 
there is a mens meeting house which will seat one thousand 
persons, women s meeting, one thousand, old meeting house, 
two hundred and eighty, library one hundred and twenty- 
five, and seven committee rooms with sitting room for one 
hundred and twenty-five. To this must be added the var 
ious retiring rooms, cloak rooms, seven rooms for foreign 
missions, three for the home mission, a three-room tract 
association, two rooms for temperance union, two rooms for 
first day school, and one room for the educational com 
mittee, all in all, well equipped to carry on the business af 
fairs of a great and influential Society. At present the 
property includes about eighteen hundred square yards, ex 
tending backward from Bishop s Gate Street to Hounds 
Ditch, two hundred and forty feet. Some of the old build 
ings have been taken down and their place occupied by the 
modern Devonshire House Hotel and adjacent business 
premises, proving a good investment to one of the oldest 
Friends properties in London, and one of the most valuable 
monuments of the days gone by. 

The Britism Museum is rich in Friends books, but the 
finest collection extant is that in Devonshire House, which 
has been collected under the diligent and intelligent direc 
tion of Norman Penney. The inception of this library can 
be traced to a meeting at the house of Gerard Roberts in 
1673, and since then the library has gradually grown until 
it has become a treasure house of literature on the subject; 


maps, old photographs, engravings, mezzotints, manu 
scripts, folios, diaries, dating back to the earliest inception 
of the Fox movement. Hundreds have contributed to this 
library, and the names of John Whiting, Morris Birbeck, 
Joseph Smith and Norman Penney are associated with its 
evolution and fine arrangement to-day, where one can count 
on finding all that is necessasry for the historian, and a sys 
tem of classification which appeals to the student ,as well as 
historian. The Devonshire House Library is unique in 
the world and contains forty thousand items, twenty-seven 
hundred in print and thirteen thousand manuscripts. This 
valuable matter is preserved in four strong rooms. 

The Friends Institute at Devonshire House has a general 
library and a picture gallery of Friends photographs, old 
dwellings, meeting houses, schools, etc. James Boorne of 
Cheltingham took a special interest in this and the presence 
here of many rare pictures, prints and portraits of Friends, 
is due to his vigilance. 




Lineal Descendant of Sir John Gratton, Pioneer Quaker and Martyr. 

While in London in 1910 I visited the Tower, where in 
the seventeenth century my Quaker ancestors and kinsmen 
had been confined. Coincidental with this, I attended the 
Westminster Meeting where, or near at hand in the old Bull 
and Mouth Meeting some of them Christopher Holder and 
John Ap John had preached. When 1 entered the meeting 
Professor Sylvanus Thompson, the distinguished biographer 
of Lord Kelvin, said, "I am going to give thee John Bright s 
seat, where he always sat." I confess that my thoughts 
wandered from the opportunity for self questioning afforded 
by the impressive silence of the old meeting-house, and 
dwelt on the great Quaker who took up the fight of George 
Fox and bore his standard onward in the Victorian era. I 
also remembered that when Lord Russell acknowledged the 
belligerant rights of the Confederacy that John Bright, 
whose seat I occupied, was almost the only man in England 
to take a stand for my country. 

John Bright was the most notable Friend or Quaker in 
the Victorian period. He was a lineal descendant of a dis 
tinguished Englishman, Sir John Grattan, a friend of 
George Fox, previously referred to, who spent five years in 

(Hlliotf and Frif> 



Derby jail in the time of Fox for violating the Conventicle 
Act in the reign of Charles II. He was released in 1686 
by King James, and his fourth great grandson, John Bright, 
carried on up to the time of his death, a vigorous fight in 
England for Quaker principles. His biographer, R. Henry 
O Brien, says of him, "He will live in the memory of his 
fellow countrymen as the greatest moral force which ap 
peared in English politics during his generation." 

Exactly what would become of England as a world 
power without her fleet and army, John Bright never satis 
factorily explained to the Tories; but the first Lord Lytton 
wrote the clever lines : 

"Let Bright responsible for England be, 

And straight in Bright a Chatham we should see," 

which suggests what is probably the truth, that while John 
Bright was a Quaker and opposed to war, he was first of all 
a patriot and loyal Englishman, who, like his ancestor s 
friend, Fox, was a century ahead of his time. 

Reformers are generally hated by ultra conservatives or 
those who do not desire a change, and there are few men in 
public life in England who have been better abused or hated 
than this nineteenth century Quaker, who really was a true 
patriot, carried away by his interest in the great masses of 
the people and their poverty. John Bright entered Parli- 
ment in 1844 as an Independent Liberal and Free Trader 
against Mr. Purvis, a Tory and Protectionist, and at once 
made himself felt by his so-called attacks on the government. 

If any one condition had made an impression on him, it 
was the poverty of the lower classes and he early became 
their champion. This found its chief expression in the 
famous Corn Law controversy. At the end of the Napol- 


eonic Era foreign wheat was kept out of England, by heavy 
duty, which naturally raised the price of the domestic pro 
duct. The force of this fell upon the poor consumer, and 
Bright believed that he could alleviate the terrible poverty 
of the lower classes so affected, by a repeal of the anti-Corn 
Laws which would result in cheap food. The Corn Law 
was passed in 1815, and so heavy a duty was placed on 
wheat that the home-grown product reached eighty shillings 
a quarter. 

In 1822 another act passed to allow the importation of 
corn, when the local price of wheat reached seventy shill 
ings a quarter, and in 1828 a third act was passed which pro 
vided a duty of twenty-three shillings eight pence, when the 
price of wheat in the home market reached fifty- 
four shillings. The fight made by Bright on this 
law, is the key to his character. He was trying 
to lift a burden from the oppressed, and this brought 
him into warfare with the landed gentry. "This house," 
said Bright in Parliament, "is a club of landowners, legislat 
ing for landowners. The Corn Law you cherish is a law 
to make a scarcity of food in the country, that your own 
rents may be increased. The quarrel is between the bread- 
eating millions and the few who monopolize the soil." 
The manifest injustice produced in Bright a strong dislike 
for the governing class, and he soon became the representa 
tive of the people in Parliment, and under all one may see 
the old Quaker ideas still being battled for by the grandson 
of Sir John Grattan, whom Charles II. imprisoned for 
demanding liberty of conscience in the seventeenth century. 

The Quaker prejudice against the established church is 
shown in his sarcasm in the speech against the Ecclesiastical 


Titles bill of Lord Russell in 1851: "The noble lord at 
the head of the government said tonight that he was strongly 
opposed to ecclesiastical influence in temporal affairs. 
Why, if we walk to the other House, we see twenty-four 
or twenty-six Bishops, and it is a remarkable fact that they 
always sit behind the government. When a Minister 
crosses the House, the Bishops stay where they are ; they al 
ways keep on the Government side. One of these bishops, 
or rather an archbishop has an income of 15,000 a year. 
I heard the noble lord, when this archbishop was appointed, 
state that an arrangement had been made by which the sal 
ary would be brought down from its hitherto unknown and 
fabulous amount to this 15,000 a year; and the noble lord 
said, with a coolness I thought inimitable, that he hoped this 
would be quite satisfactory. Not only, however, here, but 
wherever they travel, these bishops and archbishops are sur 
rounded with pomp and power. A bishop was sent lately 
to Jerusalem ; and he did not travel like an ordinary man 
he had a steam frigate to himself, called the Devastation. 
And when he arrived within a stone s throw, no doubt, of 
the house where an apostle lived, in the house of Simon the 
tanner, he landed under a salute of twenty-one guns." 

Bright was continually attacking the aristocracy; but it 
was because he considered them responsible for the poverty 
that cursed England. His critic, even his biographer, states 
in unequivocable language that he hated the aristocracy, but 
there was no such word as hate in the vocabulary of John 
Bright, the Quaker. He looked upon the institution of 
aristocracy as a menace to the nation, and he doubtless be 
lieved that if England ever became decadent, the initial and 


major symptom would be discovered at this end of the 

Pure of heart, honorable, conscientious to the limit, with 
all the Quaker inheritance of two centuries entrenched in his 
heart and soul, he could not do otherwise than stand for the 
honor of his country along the lines of the greatest resist 
ance. Few men have had more verbal abuse, even in the 
seventeenth century, than John Bright. If he had lived in 
1650, he would have been jailed and perhaps beheaded for 
treason by the clever Tories of the time, or in Boston he 
might have had his tongue burned with a red-hot iron, or 
have lost an ear, after the fashion of Christopher Holder, a 
friend of Sir John Grattan, his forebear. 

John Bright had no hatred for the established church or 
its Bishops. He merely considered it an obsolete append 
age to the greatest world power, as he held England to be; 
and his reasons were that he did not believe that the Bishops 
or the established church did its whole duty as a moral force. 
If there was such a thing as reincarnation, which there is 
not in the minds of the sane and well-balanced public, 
John Bright was the reincarnation in the nineteenth century 
of George Fox. Bright s attitude to the church, expressing 
his opinion as regards its usefulness, is shown in the follow 
ing extract from his famous Liverpool address to Welshmen 
in 1868: 

"For the last two hundred years, up to the end of the 
great war with France, this country was almost constantly 
engaged in war. I never knew the archbishops and bishops 
of the church of England to meet to promote peace and con 
demn war. When the great question of slavery agitated 
the country, though there were some of them that gave their 


support to the right side on that question, there was no com 
bined and unanimous movement in regard to it. When 
twenty-five or thirty years ago we met, probably in this very 
building, to denounce one of the greatest iniquities that ever 
assumed the form of law the Corn Law the archbishops 
and bishops never for one moment deemed it their duty to 
express an opinion upon the question or, so far as we know, 
to give it five minutes examination. I have never known 
them in England or Ireland, in the most calamitous days of 
our modern history, I have never known them come forward 
in any combined manner to expose the sufferings and de 
nounce the wrongs which were practised upon their poorer 

He objected to the aristocracy in an economic sense, but 
he believed that the millions of citizens of Great Britian 
have rights which the aristocracy and great land owners did 
not justly consider. If he had lived to-day he would not 
have been found with the men who wish to wipe out the 
House of Lords, but he would have been a protagonist of 
the ethical principle that if members of the House of Lords 
were incompetent, if the Bishops never attended, if the ab 
sentee list was a menace, that the House should be reformed 
a position that no Englishman of sense and good judg 
ment is opposed to, in the twentieth century. It was 
charged that Bright would have swept the House of Lords 
out of existence, but this is not so. His attitude is illustrated 
by the following incident. 

One day he was drinking tea with Lady Stanley, who 
asked him the direct question, "What do we want with a 
House of Lords?" He made no reply and again the ques 
tion was put with woman s determination. The great 


Tribune was fingering his cup and turned the hot beverage 
into the saucer to cool, a solecism that would have lost him 
the suffragette Tory vote very likely, had it been alive. He 
tapped the saucer of smoking tea and said, "This is the 
House of Lords." He meant that it was a cooler for the 
Commons, a needed check, as the American Senate is to the 
House of Representatives, and a necessity. He was a 
master of cynical and subtle sarcasm. His contempt was of 
the withering, scorching variety, to which there was no 
reply. He was a real servant of all the people, their repre 
sentative in the House of Commons, and it was impossible 
for him to remain silent, when he believed that the business 
of the kingdom was being badly managed. 

In appearance John Bright was a splendid specimen of 
an Englishman, a type of the best that the evolution of 
humanity had done for the Caucasian race. His face, called 
homely by some, with its aureola of white, set off by the 
leonine mass of hair, expressed the noble sentiments which 
actuated all his thoughts and actions. Benignity, dignity 
and nobility of character shone from his eyes. O Brien 
thus described his appearance in the House of Commons: 
"Immediately on the left of Gladstone, so far as I can now 
recall, was John Bright. His splendid leonine head was, I 
thought, the noblest object in the House of Commons that 
night. He was stately and dignified. He sat upright and 
looked straight in front of him. The lines of the mouth 
were drawn down, and the expression was earnest, defiant, 
severe, with a touch of contempt and scorn when Tory 
cheers greeted the belligerent periods of the fiery Hardy. 
During Hardy s speech Bright looked, in the main, uncon 
cerned. Sometimes the arms were folded, sometimes the 


elbow of the right arm rested in the palm of the left hand 
and the uplifted fingers stroked the chin. Mr. Gladstone 
turned to him now and then, but without, so far as I could 
see, eliciting much response." 

To understand John Bright s career and the hostility of 
the aristocracy, it must be remembered that John Bright was 
not an ambitious politician. He never sought official hon 
ors, and all the places of honor he filled were thrust or 
forced upon him by the arguments of those who, even if 
they opposed him, saw in him a great, true and valuable 
citizen, whose counsel the kingdom could not afford to lose. 

He was not understood by the aristocracy; was supposed 
to be gruff, even coarse ; and the fact that he considered him 
self a representative of the people, of the masses, brought 
upon him the charge of not being a "gentleman." The 
truth is that John Bright was one of the most cultivated 
and best-read gentlemen in England; but he was a Quaker, 
hence he had very simple habits, disdained the extreme 
social customs, and had an inherent disregard for fashion. 
He honestly believed that in the sight of God the humblest 
worker in England s mines had the same right to live and 
enjoy life as the king. Lord Eversley* says of him : 

"I have always looked back at my association in 1869-70 
with Mr. Bright at the Board of Trade, when he was Presi 
dent and I was Parliamentary Secretary, with the greatest 
pleasure, and with a strong personal affection for him. He 
told me when we first met at the office that I must do most 
of the work and only bring before him the more important 

*I am indebted to Mr. O Brien for permission to quote this extract 
which Mr. OBrien writes me was written by Lord Eversley for Mr. 
O Brien s life of John Bright. 


questions. He had no experience of official work, and I 
gathered that he had not taken much part in the business of 
the manufacturing of which he was a partner. At the age 
of fifty-seven it was rather late in life to begin work at the 
head of a great Government department. He had a great 
distaste, and almost an incapacity, for wading through a 
bundle of official papers. It was said in the office that he 
did not know how to untie the tape that held them together. 
I don t think he often did this. I don t recollect his ever 
writing a minute on them. He liked me to state the case 
to him, and he would then discuss it fully and with practical 
common-sense. What he said was always of the greatest 
value, and his conclusions were sound and wise. Some 
times, however, before deciding he would go down to the 
House of Commons and discuss the matter with some friend 
in the smoking room there, and it was difficult then to meet 
the arguments or objections of this unknown person. 

I recollect that in the very first case Mr. Bright had to 
deal with at the Board of Trade, a deputation came before 
him from the Elder Brethren of the Trinity House, asking 
for some amendment of their charter. Mr. Bright asked 
me, before receiving them, what I knew about them. I 
told him that they were an old corporation, in whom, from 
time immemorial, the administration of the light-house had 
been vested, subject in recent years to their control of ex 
penditure by the Board of Trade ; no one, I said, would think 
of creating such a body nowadays, but that, as they did then 
work fairly well, there was no present reason for disestab 
lishing them. 

In the course of his reply to the deputation Mr. Bright, 
pointing to me, said, You see that Radical chap there; he 


would sweep you into the sea if he could. He then presented 
himself to them as the more conservative statesman, and 
ended by conceding what they wanted. It amused me 
much to be called a "Radical chap" by Mr. Bright as com 
pared with himself; but there was a certain amount of truth 
in the comparison, for in details of administrations and in 
proposals for legislation Mr. Bright was distinctly conserva 
tive, far more so than I was. He objected to interference 
or legislation if it could possibly be avoided. He got into 
trouble with the Press for a speech he made in the House of 
Commons objecting to a bill which aimed at giving greater 
protection against adulteration. 

Mr. Bright was an exceedingly pleasant chief to work 
under, showing the fullest confidence and consideration. 
He not infrequently deferred to my views, even when disa 
greeing with them. In one important question, where the 
Board of Trade had been asked by the Foreign Office for an 
opinion as to the instructions to be given to our Minister in 
Pekin on a negotiation for a commercial treaty, after dis 
cussing the matter with me, Mr. Bright said, Well, you 
have given great attention to the subject and I very little, so 
the letter had better go to the Foreign Office as you propose, 
though I quite disagree. And so it went. 

Later, Lord Clarendon who was then Foreign Secretary, 
sent for me to discuss the same question with him. Cur 
iously enough he ended the discussion almost in the same 
words as Mr. Bright had done, and instructions were sent to 
the Minister in China in the terms I proposed, though both 
Mr. Bright and Lord Clarendon disagreed. I should add 
that my opinion had been formed after consultation with 
Lord Farrer and Sir Lewis Malet ,then officials at the Board 
of Trade. 


Mr. Bright struck me as a very good judge of men. The 
only important post at the Board of Trade which fell 
vacant while he was in office there was that of the head of 
the Railway Department. There were a great many appli 
cants for it. Mr. Bright took much trouble in personally 
seeing many of them. He picked out from them a young 
lawyer, Mr. William Malcolm, who came of a well-known 
Tory stock. The appointment turned out a most excellent 
one in every respect. After some years of work at the 
Board of Trade Mr. Malcolm was transferred to the Colon 
ial Office, and later was tempted to leave the Government 
service by an offer of partnership in Messrs. Coutts Bank. 

Mr. Bright often discussed Mr. Gladstone with me. He 
had the most profound admiration for his chief, and was 
astounded at his power of work. He could not have be 
lieved it was possible for any human being to get through 
so much. He said that Mr. Gladstone had a passion for 
work, and revelled in it for its own sake. Of himself, he 
said that he had no such power or liking for work. The 
only pleasant thing about office, he humorously added, was 
receiving the salary. He gave great support to Mr. Glad 
stone in the Cabinet. I feel certain that Mr. Gladstone had 
the greatest confidence in him, and appreciated his sound 
counsel. When Mr. Bright, in Mr. Gladstone s second 
administration, resigned his post on account of the military 
operations in Egypt, from something he said to me I 
thought he was rather hurt to find how little disturbed Mr. 
Gladstone was at losing him for a colleague. I made the 
observation that resignations of colleagues were to Mr. 
Gladstone a part of his everyday work. 

I was confirmed in this view of Mr. Gladstone later, in 


1884, when I was a member of his cabinet. The period 
was one of great internal differences in the Government, and 
at several successive Cabinets resignations were tendered, and 
were only withdrawn after great difficulties. Mr. Glad 
stone dealt with these cases with imperturbable temper and 
calmness, as part of the business of the day. I recollect 
that in coming out of a Cabinet, after one of these scenes, 
he made the jocular observation to me that his colleagues 
seemed to be all going off at half-cock. 

Mr. Bright spent much labour in preparing his speeches. 
His speech in 1869, on the Bill for disestablishing the Irish 
Church was one of the best he ever made. It was the sub 
ject of long thought and preparation. His great efforts 
were perhaps conceived in a loftier strain than Mr. Glad 
stone s, but he did not compare in general effectiveness in 
power of debate in all the use of rhetorical and dialectical 
methods. His impromptu speeches were rare, but they 
were not wanting in spirit and power. He gave much time 
to reading poetry. He often copied out lines which pleased 
him, and carried them about in his pocket for the purpose 
of committing them to memory. I thought his massive 
head a very noble one, and his expression refined and beauti 
ful totally different from the version given of him in 
Punch which always depicted him as a coarse and almost 
brutal demagogue. It was in this sense he was regarded for 
many years by the Tory party. It was only quite late in his 
life in the House of Commons that the impression changed, 
and that even his opponents recognized his noble simplicity 
and refinement." 

John Bright s love of justice was overwhelming. 
It was his Quaker inheritance and this naturally 


gave him a contempt for shams and a desire to fight them 
down. His biographer, Mr. O Brien ,says: "John Bright 
was, above all things, a domestic man. He loved home life. 
He said of himself that it was only the strongest sense of 
duty which induced him to take part in public affairs. He 
was not ambitious; he cared little for fame and glory. But 
forces which he could not control impelled him to become 
a great figure in the State. A love of justice was born in 
him; sympathy with the oppressed was the very essence of 
his being; and a gift of oratory, as rare as was ever bestowed 
upon any man of ancient or modern times, was his special 
endowment. Morally and intellectually strong, he was 
called to do battle for the cause of righteousness, in his own 
country and in other lands, and he responded to the call. 
But had he followed the bent of his own inclination, he 
would have abided among his own people, enjoying the 
companionship of friends, books, and family, doing good 
wherever he went by his influence and example, by living 
far from the heat and tumult and worry of political strife." 

While Punch, and the Tory press satirized him grossly, 
and his enemies laughed him to scorn when they could, the 
real men of England never failed to appreciate him and his 
greatness of character. Lord Granville refers to his visit 
to Queen Victoria in a letter to Gladstone: "Bright evi 
dently touched some feminine chord, for she was much 
touched with him, and saw him again the next morning. 
Without unnecessary depreciation of our enemies, it is 
probable that she is not insensible to the charm of sincerity 
and earnestness." 

We then retired to the Household at tea, and Bright was 
by no means dashed when Alfred Paget addressed the com- 


pany as if through a speaking trumpet, "Well, I never ex 
pected to see John Bright here." Lord Granville in the 
same letter compared Bright to some one whose name is 

omitted. Could it have been *? The quotation is 

as follows: " came in. Nothing could be more 

striking than the contrast between the two men. Both a 
little vain, and with good, reason to be so; but one so guile 
less in his allusions to himself, and the other showing it en 
veloped with little artifices and mock humility; one so in 
trinsically a gentleman, and so ignorant of our particular 
society, the other a little vulgar, but a consummate master 
of the ways of the grande monde." 

In reference to John Bright as a politician, Lord Fitz- 
maurice says in his life of Lord Granville: "His accept 
ance of office was perhaps the most striking feature in the 
new arrangements. It was the outward and visible sign of 
the definite junction between the more advanced section of 
the old Liberal Party and the Radicalism of the school of 
Mr. Cobden. The Tadpoles and Tapers of London Tory 
ism went about asserting that none of the "gentlemen" of the 
Liberal Party would associate with the great Tribune of 
Birmingham, and Lord Derby was freely quoted by them, 
though without any kind of authority, as having said that 
the Queen would never receive Mr. Bright as a Minister. 
Lord Granville marked his opinion by walking down Parlia 
ment Street from the Cabinet, arm in arm with the new 
President of the Board of Trade, to the House on the day of 
the Meeting of Parliament, and he piloted the new Minister 
on his first journey to Osborne." 

John Bright s Quaker ancestry and views shaped his en 
tire public career. He opposed war consistently but he did 


not treat if from the standpoint of the Peace Society, but 
rather from the statesman s point of vitw. He disclaimed 
being the original protagonist of a policy of peace, and re 
ferred to Peel, Walpole, Fox and others as Englishmen who 
had resented the interference of Great Britian in foreign af 
fairs. One day in walking by the Waterloo monument on 
which was the word Crimea, he remarked to his companion, 
"the last letter of that word should be placed first." In his 
great speech on the Crimea in which he also defines the am 
bitions of his life, he said, "I am not, nor did I ever pretend 
to be, a statesman; as that character is so tainted and so 
equivocal in our day, that I am not sure that a pure and 
honourable ambition would aspire to it. I have not en 
joyed for thirty years, like these noble lords, the honours 
and emoluments of office. I have not set my sails to every 
passing breeze." And now speaks the Quaker, "I am a 
plain and simple citizen, sent here by one of the foremost 
constituencies of the Empire, representing feebly, perhaps, 
but honestly, I dare aver, the opinions of very many, and 
the true interests of all those who have sent me here. Let 
it not be said that I am alone in my condemnation of this 
war, and of this incapable and guilty administration. And, 
even if I were alone, if mine were a solitary voice, raised 
amid the din of arms, and the clamours of a venal Press, I 
should have the consolation I have tonight and which I 
trust will be mine to the last moment of my existence the 
priceless consolation that no word of mine has tended to 
promote the squandering of my country s treasure or the 
spilling of one single drop of my coitntrfs blood." 

In his Birmingham speech of 1853, he said, "If you turn 
to the history of England, from the period of the Revolu- 


tion to the present, you will find that an entirely new policy 
was adopted, and that, while we have endeavored in former 
times to keep ourselves free from European complications, 
we now began to act upon a system of constant entangle 
ment in the affairs of foreign countries, as if there was 
neither property nor honours, nor anything worth striving 
for, to be acquired in any other field. The language coin 
ed and used then has continued to our day. Lord Somers, 
in writing for William III., speaks of the endless and san 
guinary wars of that period as wars to maintain the liberties 
of Europe. There were wars to support the Protestant 
interest, and there were many wars to preserve our old 
friend the balance of power. 

We have been at war since that time, I believe, with, 
for, and against, every considerable nation in Europe. We 
fought to put down a pretended French supremacy under 
Louis XIV. We fought to prevent France and Spain com 
ing under the sceptre of one monarch, although, if we had 
not fought, it would have been impossible in the course of 
things that they should have become so united. We fought 
to maintain the Italian provinces in connection with the 
House of Austria. We fought to put down the supremacy 
of Napoleon Bonaparte ; and the Minister who was employed 
by this country at Vienna, after the great war, when it 
was determined that no Bonaparte should ever again sit on 
the throne of France, was the very man to make an alliance 
with another Bonaparte for the purpose of carrying on a 
war to prevent the supremacy of the late Emperor of Rus 
sia. So that we have been all round Europe, and across it 
over and over again, and after a policy so distinguished, so 
long continued, and so costly, I think we have a fair right 


I have, at last to ask those who are in favour of it to show 
us its visible result." 

Then he held up to his amazed listeners the bill wrung 
from the people: "I believe that I understate the sum when 
I say that, in pursuit of this will-o -the-wisp (the liberties 
of Europe and the balance of power), there has been ex 
tracted from the industry of the people of this small island 
no less an amount than 2,000,000,000 sterling (ten mil 
lion dollars). I cannot imagine how much 2,000,000,000 
is, and therefore I shall not attempt to make you compre 
hend it. I presume it is something like those vast and in 
comprehensible astronomical distances with which we have 
lately been made familiar; but, however familiar, we feel 
that we do not know one bit more about them than we did 
before. When I try to think of that sum of 2,000,000,- 
ooo there is a sort of vision passes before my mind s eye. I 
see your peasant labourer delve and plough, sow and reap, 
sweat beneath the summer s sun, or grow prematurely old 
before the winter s blast. I see your noble mechanic, with 
his manly countenance and his matchless skill, toiling at his 
bench or his forge. I see one of the workers in our factories 
in the north, a woman, a girl it may be gentle and good, 
as many of them are, as your sisters and daughters are, I 
see her intent upon the spindle, whose revolutions are so 
rapid that the eye fails altogether to detect them, or watch 
ing the alternating flight of the unresting shuttle. I turn 
again to another portion of your population, which, "plunged 
in mines, forgets a sun was made, and I see the man who 
brings up from the secret chambers of the earth the elements 
of the riches and greatness of his country. When I see all 
this I have before me a mass of produce and of wealth which 


I am no more able to comprehend than I am that 2,000,- 
000,000 of which I have spoken, but I behold in its full 
proportions the hideous error of your Governments, whose 
fatal policy consumes in some cases a half, never less than a 
third, of all the results of that industry which God intended 
should fertilize and bless every home in England, but the 
fruits of which are squandered in every part of the surface 
of the globe, without producing the smallest good to the 
people of England." 

Then he asked, who is benefited by the policy? 

"Mr. Kingslake, the author of an interesting book on 
eastern travel, describing the habits of some acquaintances 
that he made in the Syrian deserts, says that the jackals of 
the desert follow their prey in families, like the place-hunt 
ers of Europe. I will reverse, if you like, the comparison, 
and say that the great territorial families of England, which 
were enthroned at the Revolution, have followed their prey 
like the jackals of the desert. Do you not observe at a 
glance that from the time of William III., by reason of the 
foreign policy which I denounce, wars have been multi 
plied, taxes increased, loans made, and the sums of money 
which every year the Government has to expend augmented ; 
and that so the patronage at the disposal of Ministers 
must have increased also, and the families who were en 
throned and made powerful in the legislation and adminis 
tration of the country must have had the first pull at, and 
the largest profit out of, that patronage 1 ? There is no act 
uary in existence who can calculate how much of the wealth, 
of the strength, of the supremacy of the territorial families 
of England has been derived from an unholy participation 
in the fruits of the industry of the people, which have been 


wrested from them by every device of taxation and squand 
ered in every conceivable crime of which a Government 
could possibly be guilty. 

The more you examine this matter the more you will 
come to the conclusion which I have arrived at that this 
foreign policy, this regard for the liberties of Europe, this 
care at one time for the Protestant interests, this excessive 
love for the balance of power, is neither more nor less than 
a gigantic system of outdoor relief for the aristocracy of 
Great Britain." 

John Bright s Quaker instinct led him to devote himself 
to the moral upbuilding of the nation and to reform, hence 
we see him devoting himself to such subjects as Ireland, 
Free Trade, India, the Crimean War, Parliamentary Re 
form, Public Expenditures. In the American Congress there 
have been certain men dubbed "the watch dogs of the Treas 
ury." John Bright was one of these in the House of Com 
mons ; he was continually aware that he was the steward and 
was always ready to give an account of his stewardship. 

Bright made a fight for the common people against the 
Corn Law which has become historic. With Cobden, he 
gradually convinced the people. It took them seven years 
to make Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell free traders, 
and the story is well told in the Letters of Queen Victoria. 

They converted the "Times," which, as the Prince Con 
sort says, "became suddenly, violently anti-Corn Law." 
The Peel ministry was amazed by the sudden surrender of 
Lord John Russell; all England was convulsed. The Peel 
cabinet was demoralized, and we see the spectacle of the 
Duke of Wellington, Lord Russell, and others suspicious 
and antagonistic. The intensity of the feeling may be 


shown by the fact that the Duke of Beaufort wrote a letter, 
which Lord Granville says was doubtless dictated by Alvan- 
ley, in which the sentence appears, "Peel ought not die a 
natural death." This in 1845-6. In this war, the Quaker 
had the friendship and influence of Queen Victoria, and in 
1846, Peel again took office and the Corn law was repealed, 
and a sliding scale adopted for three years. Peel, the prime 
minister, was denounced by the Duke of Buccleuch, Wel 
lington, Beaufort and other Tory leaders for betraying the 

John Bright, the Quaker, had again won a great moral 
victory for the people, and his defense of Peel must have 
been a solace to that distinguished statesman. "You say 
the right hon. baronet is a traitor. It would ill become me 
to attempt his defense after the speech which he delivererd 
last night a speech, I will venture to say, more powerful 
and more to be admired than any speech which has been de 
livered within the memory of any man in this House. I 
watched the right hon. baronet as he went home last night, 
and for the first time I envied him his feelings. That 
speech has circulated by scores of thousands throughout the 
kingdom and throughout the world; and wherever a man is 
to be found who loves justice, and wherever there is a lab 
ourer whom you have trampled under foot, that speech will 
bring joy to the heart of the one and hope to the breast of 
another. You chose the right hon. baronet why 1 ? Be 
cause he was the ablest man of your party. You always 
said so, and you will not deny it now. Why was he the 
ablest*? Because he had great experience, profound at 
tainments, and an honest regard for the good of the country. 
You placed him in office. When a man is in office he is not 



the same man as when in opposition. The present posterity 
or generation does not deal as mildly with men in Govern 
ment as with those in Opposition. There are such things as 
the responsibilities of office. Look at the population of 
Lancashire and Yorkshire, and there is not a man among 
you who would have the valour to take office and raise the 
standard of Protection, and cry, down with the Anti-Corn 
Law League and Protection forever! There is not a man 
in your ranks who would dare to sit on that bench as the 
Prime Minister of England pledged to maintain the exist 
ing law. The right hon. baronet took the only, the truest 
course he resigned. He told you by that act, T will no 
longer do your work; I will not defend your cause. The 
experience I have had since I came into office renders it im 
possible for me at once to maintain office and the Corn 
Law. The right hon. baronet resigned he was then no 
longer your Minister. He came back to office as the Min 
ister of his sovereign and of the people." 

Whether Cobden or Bright was the most potent figure in 
producing this great reform the reader of history must de 
cide, but there was no question in the mind of John Bright. 
His fine Quaker modesty came to the front, for when he ap 
pealed to Cobden not to resign, he said, "I am of opinion 
that your retirement would be tantamount to a dissolution 
of the League; its mainspring would be gone. I can in no 
degree take your place. As a second I can fight; but there 
are incapacities about me, of which I am fully conscious, 
which prevent my being more than a second in such work 
as we have laboured in." 

Disraeli in 1844 thus cleverly defined the Irish Question: 
"The Irish, in extreme distress, inhabit an island where 


there is an established Church which is not their Church, 
and a territorial aristocracy the richest of whom live in for 
eign capitals. Thus you have a starving population, an ab 
sentee aristocracy, and an alien Church; and in addition the 
weakest executive in the world. That is the Irish Ques 
tion." John Bright became the champion of the down- 
pressed of Ireland. He said, "I am reading about Ireland 
and thinking about her almost continually, and am quite 
clear as to what is required for her ; but our aristocratic Gov 
ernment will see the people perish by thousands rather than 
yield anything of their privileges and usurpations." 

In 1884 when John Bright was discussing Ireland, he 
said "But if the ancient lines are to be worked upon, and 
Ireland is to be by no means tranquilised and united to this 
country, then I can only wish to use a simile I once used 
in this House that she could be unmoored from her fasten 
ings in the deep, and moved three thousand miles to the 
west." Ireland is still anchored, but its people have mov 
ed three thousand miles west, as most of them in the year 
1913 are on the American continent and are still Irish, while 
in Ireland, John Bright s Home-Rule dream has almost 
come true. 

In his later days John Bright changed to some extent his 
views relating to Ireland. He still was interested in the 
Irish and their struggles, but they split on the question of 
Home Rule. No English statesman ever immolated himself 
more completely on the bayonet of his enemies, than did 
John Bright. He stood by and pleaded for Ireland when 
no other Englishman had the temerity, and when it meant 
practical obliquity and ostracism. His attitude in denounc 
ing the Crimean War brought upon him the veiled charge of 


not, treason, but something worse aiding the enemy. His 
efforts for India brought upon him the attacks of civil serv 
ants and the government; yet they were based on lofty 
ideas of humanity, justice and right, not only of Quakers, 
but of all men. 

During the American War of the Rebellion, England 
promptly acknowledged the belligerent rights of the Con 
federacy, and the nation gave its sympathy and moral sup 
port to the men who proposed to disrupt the greatest experi 
ment in pure democracy ever known. There was a minor 
ity and its leader was John Bright, who was charged with 
many crimes. The "Alabama," that was built by Messrs. 
Laird & Co., at Birkenhead, and sailed under the English 
flag, and devasted American Commerce. Mr. Laird stated 
in the House of Commons, amid cheers, that he would rath 
er be known as the builder of a dozen "Alabamas" than a 
man like John Bright who had set class against class. 

John Bright continued to attack the English standpoint 
and his opponents were obliged to pay to America 3,000,- 
ooo, the award of the Geneva Arbitrators for the damages 
caused by the "Alabama." During the year 1912, the 
House of Lords has had its powers limited, after a fight 
which has virtually lasted for fifty-four years. In 1858 
John Bright turned his wit and sarcasm against the peers in 
the following speech : "I am not going to attack the House 
of Lords. Some people tell us that the House of Lords has 
in its time done great things for freedom. It may be so, 
though I have not been so successful in finding out how or 
where, as some people have been. At least since 1690, or 
thereabouts, when the peers became the dominant power in 
this country, I am scarcely able to discover one single meas- 


ure important to human or English freedom which has come 
from the voluntary consent and good-will of their House. 

The following from one of his speeches is a description of 
a peer : 

"You know what a peer is. He is one of those fortunate 
individuals who are described as coming into the world 
with a silver spoon in their mouths. Or, to use the more 
polished and elaborate phraseology of the poet, it may be 
said of him: 

Fortune came smiling to his youth and woo d it, 
And purpled greatness met his ripened years. 

When he is a boy, among his brothers and sisters, he is 
pre-eminent; he is the eldest son; he will be My Lord,; 
this fine mansion, this beautiful park, these countless farms, 
this vast political influence, will one day centre on this in 
nocent boy. The servants know it, and pay him greater 
deference on account of it. He grows up and goes to school 
and college; his future position is known; he has no great 
incitement to work hard, because whatever he does it is very 
difficult to improve his fortune in any way. When he 
leaves college he has a secure position ready-made for him, 
and there seems to be no reason why he should follow ard 
ently any of those occupations which make men great among 
their fellow-men. He takes his seat in the House of Peers ; 
whatever be his character, whatever his intellect, whatever 
his previous life, whether he be in England or ten thousand 
miles away; be he tottering down the steep of age, or be he 
passing through the imbecility of second childhood, yet by 
means of that charming contrivance made only for peers 
vote by proxy, he gives his vote for or against, and, un- 


fortunately, too often against, all those great measures on 
which you and the country have set your hearts. There is 
another kind of peer which I am afraid to touch upon that 
creature of what shall I say*? of monstrous, nay, even 
of adulterous birth the spiritual peer. I assure you with 
the utmost frankness and sincerity that it is not in the nature 
of things that men in these positions should become willing 
fountains from which can flow great things from the free 
dom of any country. We are always told that the peers are 
necessary as a check. If that is so, I must say they answer 
their purpose admirably." 

Such sentiments fired against this venerable institution in 
1858 produced a most unfavorable impression, and did not 
add to the popularity of the eminent Quaker, yet there are 
some in England to-day who see in the witty and denuncia 
tory characterization, vital and prophetic truths; and if 
English Quakers needed any justification for their great 
representation, they have it in the resolution limiting the vote 
of the House of Lords, which passed the House of Com 
mons in 1910: 

"I. That it is expedient that the House of Lords be dis 
abled by law from rejecting or amending a Money Bill, but 
that any such limitation by law shall not be taken to dimin 
ish or qualify the existing rights and privileges of the House 
of Commons. 

For the purpose of this Resolution a Bill shall be con 
sidered a Money Bill if, in the opinion of the Speaker, it 
contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the fol 
lowing subjects, namely, the imposition, repeal, remission, 
alteration, or regulation of taxation; charges on the Con 
solidated Fund or the provision of money by Parliament; 


Supply; the appropriation, control ,or regulation of public 
money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the repay 
ment thereof for matters incidental to those subjects or any 
of them. 

2. That it is expedient that the powers of the House of 
Lords, as respects Bills other than Money Bills, be restricted 
by law, so that any such Bill which has passed the House 
of Commons in three successive Sessions and, having been 
sent up to the House of Lords at least once a month before 
the end of the session, has been rejected by that House in 
each of those Sessions, shall become law without the consent 
of the House of Lords on the Royal assent being declared: 
Provided that at least two years shall have elapsed between 
the date of the first introduction of the Bill in the House of 
Commons and the date on which it passes the House of 
Commons for the third time. 

For the purposes of this Resolution a Bill shall be treated 
as rejected by the House of Lords if it has not been passed 
by the House of Lords either without Amendment or with 
such Amendments only as may be agreed upon by both 

3. That it is expedient to limit the duration of Parlia 
ment to five years." 

John Bright certainly did everything in England to make 
himself unpopular with the landed gentry; he was the cham 
pion of the minority who were fighting for the majority, yet 
England appreciated his greatness; his sincerity and honesty 
of purpose were never doubted. When Gladstone asked 
him to join the Liberal ministry of 1868, he became against 
his will President of the Board of Trade, and "I was 
offered," he said, with a flash of wit, "any office except that 


of war." He went into the service of the Gladstone min 
istry "with the cordial and gracious acquiescence of her 
Majesty, the Queen," but much against his will, a fact well 
illustrated in the following, from one of his speeches: "I 
have not aspired at any time of my life to the rank of a 
Privy Councilor, nor to the dignity of a Cabinet office. I 
should have preferred much to have remained in that com 
mon rank of simple citizenship in which heretofore I have 
lived. There is a passage in the Old Testament which has 
often struck me as being one of great beauty. Many of 
you will recollect that the prophet, in journeying to and 
fro, was very hospitably entertained by what is termed in 
the Bible a Shunammite woman. In return for her hospi 
tality, he wished to make her some amends, and he called 
her to him and asked her what he should do for her. Shall 
I speak for thee to the king, he said, or to the captain of 
the host? 

Now, it has always appeared to me that the Shunammite 
woman returned a great answer. She replied in declining 
the prophet s offer, I dwell among mine own people. 
When the question was put to me whether I would step into 
the position in which I now find myself, the answer from 
my heart was the same I wish to dwell among mine own 
people. Happily, the time may have come I trust it has 
come when in this country an honest man may enter the 
service of the crown, and at the same time not feel it in any 
degree necessary to disassociate himself from his own peo 

The enemies of the Quaker statesman attempted every 
expedient to check him. In 1859 Viscount Palmerston con 
ceived the idea of bribing him, at least his letter of the 2nd 


of July, 1859, to tne Q ueen > has all the ear-marks of a bribe. 
He tells her that he has heard from a number of sources that 
Mr. Bright would be highly flattered if he received the of 
fice of Privy Councilor, and he suggests that the honor 
might change the direction of his thoughts, all of which 
would be an advantage to her Majesty. 

But the Queen refused her assent to Lord Palmerston s 
proposal on the ground that he had rendered the state no 
service, a clever sarcasm, and, moreover, she doubted very 
much whether an honor of the kind would influence Mr. 
Bright; and if it did not, her Majesty shrewdly remarks that 
what he said in the future would only have additional 
weight as a Privy Councilor. Queen Victoria, who at the 
last became the great Quaker s friend, was a far better judge 
of John Bright than was Lord Palmerston. 

John Bright never visited America, and the reason is giv 
en by Allen Jay in his Autobiography. Jay wrote to him, 
"If thee will come to America, we will give thee a great 
ovation." "That is just the reason I cannot go," replied 
the English Quaker. "Sometime ago the press reported 
that I was going to America, and I began to receive cable 
grams offering me hotel accommodations in many cities. The 
Pullman Car Company cabled that a fully equipped train 
would meet me with parlor and dining cars. Then came a 
message from the President of the United States saying that 
I must be the nation s guest. I saw at once they were going 
to make a hero of me, and that they would kill me, so I 
had to give it up." 

John Bright died March the 2yth, 1889, and rests in the 
Friends Burial Ground at Rochdale. 

Book II. 



All that remains is to set upon Boston Common, the 
scene of their martyrdom, a fitting monument to the heroes 
that won the victory. 

John Fiske. 


Quaker (lorrnior of lihode IftJnntl 

Fourth Great Granddaughter of Christopher Holder 




Lineal Descendant of Peleg Slocum and Christopher Holder, Members of the 
Society of Friends. 

Next to George Fox and William Penn the most influ 
ential Quaker in England has been John Bright, a domin 
ant figure in English politics and reforms in the nineteenth 
century. In America the life of Mrs. Russell Sage, a 
fourth great granddaughter of Christopher Holder, a lineal 
descendant of the Quaker Governors Wanton of Rhode 
Island, and of Peleg Slocum, the pioneer Quaker minister, 
presents an extraordinary and forceful illustration of the 
duration of Quaker ideas and inheritance, as this great 
American philanthropist has brought down to the nineteenth 
century the Christian ideals of her distinguished Quaker 
forebears, and in her philanthropic work has rendered an ac 
counting of a great trust that has given her a place with the 
great names of history. John Bright fought for Quaker 
principles and ideals in the House of Commons. Mrs. Rus- 
sel Sage has made the world her field through the wonderful 
workings of the Sage Foundation whose charity and philan 
thropy is conducted not only on humanitarian ideals but on 
scientific principles. 

The Honorable Russell Sage left his wife, the descendant 


of Quakers, over fifty million dollars without a suggestion 
as to its use or distribution. It might be said, and doubt 
less has been, that it was too great a responsibility to place 
upon a frail woman; but one has to know Mrs. Sage even 
slightly to understand the wisdom of the choice. Russell 
Sage recognized in his wife a strong religious faith, coupled 
with keen intuition for justice and good judgment. That 
he made no mistake is evinced in the extraordinary work of 
the Sage Foundation and many philanthropic deeds remark 
able for their diversity and effect upon the American nation. 
Strong, tender, just and faithful to a Christian life and ex 
ample, this woman has been able to meet the imposing re 
sponsibility, doubtless due to the religion of her forbears 
and the Quaker heredity traits that have come down to her 
from both sides of a distinguished ancestry. 

The story of heredity is interesting, and conclusive to 
those who have made it a scientific study. Christopher 
Holder, the distinguished missionary, author and minister, 
who founded the first Quaker Society in America, in 1657, 
who was the author of the first Declaration of Faith of 
Quakers in England and America; a martyr of martyrs, 
whose extraordinary story is told elsewhere in this volume, 
was the fourth great grandfather of Mrs. Sage. His daugh 
ter Mary married Peleg Slocum, a prominent Quaker min 
ister in the colonial days of Rhode Island and Massachus 
etts, and down through the famous names of colonial his 
tory the Slocums, Scotts, Holders, Wantons, Jermains, 
Piersons, we follow her forebears until the year of her birth. 

Christopher Holder was an English aristocrat, related, it 
is believed, to Dr. William Holder, astronomer, author, 
prelate and Dean of Westminster, who married Susanna 


Wren, sister of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, who 
lies near him in St. Paul s. Christopher Holder in 1657 
preached the simple life, charity, freedom, equality of man, 
peace, and the example of Christ in all things. Such, two 
and a half centuries ago, was the fourth great grandfather 
of Margaret Olivia Sage. 

While the world was witnessing the excess of ritualistic 
form from Rome to London the Quaker ancestor of Mrs. 
Sage was preaching the peace that Mr. Carnegie is striving 
for; denouncing war from the standpoint of morality. 
There is not a great Christian virtue to the fore to-day that 
was not advocated by Christopher Holder and his Quaker 
brethren. He denounced slavery. He demanded simplic 
ity, the simple life in dress and language. He called for 
truth, humility, a religion modeled after the lesson and ex 
ample of Christ, liberty of speech, equality of men and 
women. Indeed there is not a noble sentiment advocated 
or commended to-day under the banner of Christ and mod 
ern intelligence that the Quakers had not thought of. They 
were two and a half centuries ahead of their time. 

From the extraordinary nature of the philanthropy of 
Mrs. Sage, her life is well known. Her acts of intuitive 
benevolence, her extended philanthropy, her Christian char 
ity and other characteristics which have endeared her to the 
American people, are doubtless derived, to a large extent, 
from her Quaker ancestry. One can scarcely conceive a 
more tender, or womanly heart, open wider to the real ills 
of humanity. I recall tenderness as a dominant trait 
among the old Friends or Quakers. If they thought in any 
way some one had been neglected, some one unjustly treated, 
they were unhappy until the facts were known. Tend- 


erness, a strong inborn feeling that it was better to make 
a personal sacrifice rather than a mistake in giving or not 
giving. I believe this to be a dominant note in the life of 
the subject of this comment, who, so well illustrates in 1912 
the Quaker idea of a practical following of Christ. 

Before illustrating the great responsibilities of Mrs. Sage 
and the manner in which she has met them, the practical 
wisdom of her methods, I wish to refer again to her hered 
ity, which is, I think, remarkable, if not unique, among 
American families. In a corner of the Crypt of St. Paul s 
London, I found Sir Christopher Wren s tomb, and above 
it the arms of and monument to Dr. William Holder and 
Susanna Wren Holder, his wife. 

Mrs. Sage is a lineal descendant of Sir John Dryden, who 
married the daughter of Sir John Cope of Cannons Ashby, 
Northampton, England. Their son was Sir Erasmus Dry- 
den, Baronet, who was grandfather of John Dryden, Poet 
Laureate of England in the Seventeenth Century. A sister 
of Sir Erasmus married the Rev. Francis Marbury, a dis 
tinguished English divine, whose daughter Katherine mar 
ried Richard Scott (1630), later a famous Quaker of 
Providence, R. I., from whom are descended some of the 
most notable Americans, two of whom have been governors 
of Rhode Island. Mary Scott married Christopher Holder, 
the Quaker minister. And so we are led again to Peleg 
Slocum, the Quaker minister, who married Mary Holder, 
the third great grandmother of Mrs. Russell Sage. 

The Drydens suggest intellectuality, and they produced 
many men and women who left their imprint in ineffaceable 
lines upon the pages of history in America and Great Brit 
ain. The Cope, Dryden, Marbury, Scott, Holder and 


Slocum arms are all to be found in the English armorial 
records, and tell a fascinating story of deeds and loyalty, 
honorable service to king and nation. 

To continue this analysis of heredity and character down 
through the centuries from the earliest known forebears of 
Mrs. Sage, brings a constant surprise because the traits of 
the Quaker are so clearly reflected in the mirror of her an 
cestry. Peleg Slocum, her third great grandfather, who 
married Mary Holder, was a distinguished Quaker min 
ister. I recall seeing the Slocum arms in the Britism Mus 
eum with the motto Vivit post fenera virtus (Virtue outlives 
the grave). In the confirmatory deed of Governor William 
Bradford, Nov. 13, 1694, Peleg Slocum is named as one of 
the proprietors of Dartmouth. There is a record, 1698, of 
his building a meeting house "for the people of God in scorn 
called Quakers." His son Joseph, with his brother Holder 
Slocum, was named joint executor and became the owner of 
the island of Patience in Naragansett Bay Mary Holder s 
dowry. Joseph Slocum married into one of the most dis 
tinguished families of Rhode Island, the Wantons. His 
wife was the daughter of Governor Wanton of Rhode Is 
land, 1733-40, who was the immediate great grandparent of 
Mrs. Sage. Four members of the Wanton family became 
governors of Rhode Island: William, 1732, John, 1734; 
Gideon, 1745; Joseph, 1769. Portraits of some of them 
are to be seen in the Redwood Library, Newport, and copies 
are in the new state house of Providence. On the tomb of 
John Wanton, 1720, in the old north burying ground at 
Newport, is seen the arms of the family, the Wantons of 
County Huntington of England. "A mind conscious in it 
self of rectitude" is the motto. 



All these Wantons are the descendants of Quakers, as Ed 
ward Wanton ,the earliest known, lived in Boston in 1658. 
He was an officer and witnessed the death of the Quakers, 
Mary Dyer and William Robinson and the maiming of 
Mrs. Sage s ancestor, Christopher Holder. After listening 
to them he returned to his home and laid aside his sword 
with a vow never to wear it again. Soon after, he joined 
the Society of Friends as a convert of Holder and others. 
He aided in building the first Quaker meeting-house at 
Sandwich, and became a famous preacher. Col. John 
Wanton was a soldier in 1706, and performed many acts of 
valor, but in 1712 he joined the Society of Friends. His 
daughter Susanna married Joseph Slocum whose son mar 
ried Hannah Brown, a member of a distinguished family 
whose names figure largely in the colonial history of Massa 
chusetts and Rhode Island. Their youngest son, Hon. Wil 
liam Brown Slocum, married Olivia Josselyn (1793), grand 
mother of Mrs. Sage. She had the poetic gift of her an 
cestors, the Drydens, and was a lineal descendant of Sir 
Gilbert de Jocelyn, an officer of William the Conqueror. 
A volume could be written regarding the place held in 
American history by this group of ancestors of Mrs. Sage. 
They took as their motto that of the Josselyn arms : "To 
do my duty." John Josselyn was an author, explorer, 
member of the court, councillor, 1639, Deputy Governor, 
1648, magistrate; in fact filled about every office of import 
ance in New England. Henry Josselyn married a Miss 
Stockbridge of a distinguished family of Huntingtonshire, 
England. It was Miss Stockbridge who gave the four 
silver communion cups to the Hanover Church in Massa 


It is through the Josselyns that Mrs. Sage is descended 
from that famous figure in American history, Captain Miles 
Standish, of the "Mayflower;" and through him comes her 
right to membership in the Mayflower Society. Stock- 
bridge Josselyn in 1768 married Olivia Standish, a lineal 
descendent of Miles Standish. Much could be written of 
this remarkable family which is known five hundred years 
previous to the appearance of Captain Miles Standish at 

Other distinguished families among the forebears of Mrs. 
Sage are the Pierson and Jermain. The coat of arms of the 
Piersons indicates that it is of the same root and branch as 
that of the Dean of Salisbury. 

One of the earliest known members was Richard Pierson 
of St. Mary s Aldemeary, who in 1540 married Elizabeth! 
Church. Henry Pierson was one of the incorporates of the 
town of Southampton, L. I., by patent under Governor 
Andros, 1676, and many of the family held distinguished 
and responsible positions in state and county. The Hon. 
Joseph Slocum of Syracuse, married Margaret (Pierson) 
Jermain; Mrs. Russell Sage is a daughter. Major John 
Jermain, her grandfather, was a soldier of the Revolution, 
while her father, John Joseph Slocum, was one of America s 
distinguished and public-spirited citizens. In 1849 he was 
a successful merchant and a member of the Legislature. 
The Emperor of Russia requested him to establish agri 
cultural schools throughout that country, which he did suc 
cessfully. High intelligence, refinement, culture and a 
delicate sense of honor were some of his characteristics. 
Of his wife it was said : 

"An Elect Lady by birth and environment, for the law of 


the Lord governed the household into which she was born, 
and in this holy law she loved to meditate with an abiding 
trust in its promises, and a quick faith which never wavered, 
even when gathering years, with their varied experiences, 
brought their sorrows and perplexities. As a wife and 
mother, she ordered well the ways of her household. As a 
friend, she was loyal, and much given to hospitality, and 
fulfilled to her was the promise, "With long life will I 
satisfy thee." She was gifted with a peculiarly sweet and 
generous nature, for it was granted her to spend an honorable 
old age in the homes of her daughter and son, and to see 
growing up around her children s children of the third and 
fourth generation." 

The mother of Mrs. Sage was a lineal descendant of the 
Huguenot family of Jermains that settled in New Rochelle 
in early days. In their memory Mrs. Sage has presented to 
the New York Historical Society a beautiful memorial 
window entitled the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 
Major John Jermain, of Southampton, L. I., was a patriot 
of the Revolution, and an officer in the Westchester militia. 
He had command of a fort at Sag Harbor in the war of 
1812. This gentleman married Margaret Pierson, a de- 
cendant of an old and prominent English family. The 
youngest child of Major John Jermain was Margaret Pier- 
son Jermain, who married the Hon. Joseph Slocum. Their 
daughter Margaret Olivia Slocum married Russell Sage in 
1869, one of the most brilliant men of his time or period, 
who came down from a distinguished ancestry which has 
been traced back to the time of the Conqueror. Russell 
Sage was a financial genius, one of the business pillars of the 
Republic; but he was also a statesman. He entered Cong- 


ress in 1854, and his work for the suppression of slavery 
was far-reaching and epoch-making. Soon after his death 
Mrs. Sage organized the Russell Sage Foundation and gave 
it the sum of ten million dollars to be expended in "The 
improvement of social and living conditions in the United 
States of America." 

The range of this extraordinary philanthropy is shown in 
the following from the charter: "It shall be within the 
purpose of said corporation to use any means which from 
time to time shall seem expedient to its members or trustees 
including research, publication, education, the establish 
ment and maintenance of charitable and benevolent activ 
ities, agencies and institutions, and the aid of any such 
activities, agencies or institutions, already established." 

In a letter to the trustees, written in 1907, Mrs. Sage de 
fines her meaning clearly: "The scope of the Foundation 
is not only national, but it is broad. It should, however, pre 
ferably, not undertake to do that which is now being done, 
or is likely to be effectively done, by other individuals or 
other agencies. It should be its aim to take up the larger, 
more difficult problems, and to take them up so far as pos 
sible in such a manner as to secure cooperation and aid in the 

The Russell Sage Foundation of which Mrs. Sage is 
President, is fundamentally an educational institution. 
Its activities are on practical lines, and among its activities 
are many demonstrations of what can be done to improve 
social and living conditions; not only to improve these con 
ditions directly, but to demonstrate in what directions other 
individual and organized effort can accomplish the best re 
sults. Some of its work is done directly by its own staff, 
some indirectly through other societies or institutions. 


Illustrative of the former are its suburban development 
at Forest Hill, Long Island, including about 140 acres in 
area, which has been developed under the direction of Mr. 
Frederick Law Olmsted and Mr. Grosvenor Atterbury, and 
which is intended to provide homes at moderate cost on the 
smallest possible basis of initial and monthly payments; its 
establishment of a chattel loan society in New York, and its 
department of Child Helping, under Dr. Hastings H. Hart 
as Director, of Child Hygiene, under Dr. Luther M. Gulick 
as Director, and of Charity Organization Extension, under 
Miss Mary E. Richmond as Director. 

Illustrative of the latter kind of activities is its work for 
the prevention of tuberculosis, in which it is acting through 
the National Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, the 
State Charities Aid Association in the State of New York 
outside of the City of New York, and in the Citv of New 
York through the Charity Organization Society in Manhat 
tan and the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities in Brooklyn. 

The wide scope of its field is well indicated by the titles 
of its publications: 

"The Pittsburg Survey," a social study of a typical 
American Industrial City, in six volumes, including: 

"Women and the Trades," 

"Work-Accidents and the Law," 

"The Steel Workers," 

"Homestead: the Households of a Mill Town," 

"The Pittsburg District," 

"Pittsburg: the gist of the Survey." 

"Correction and Prevention," edited by Charles Rich 
mond Henderon, Ph. D., including : 

"Prison Reform," 


"Penal and Reformatory Institutions," 

"Preventive Agencies and Methods," 

"Preventive Treatment of Neglected Children." 

"Juvenile Court Laws in the United States Summariz 
ed," by Hastings H. Hart, LL. D. 

"Housing Reform," by Lawrence Veiller. 

"Model Tenement House Law," by Lawrence Veiller. 

"Workingmen s Insurance in Europe," by Lee K. Frankel 
and Miles M. Dawson. 

"Wider Use of the School Plant," by Clarence Arthur 

"Among School Gardens," by M. Louise Green, Ph. D. 
"Laggards in Our Schools," by Leonard P. Ayres, Ph. D. 

"The Standard of Living Among Workingmen s Famil 
ies in New York City," by Herbert Coit Chapin, Ph. D. 

"Civic Bibliography for Greater New York," by James 
Bronson Reynolds. 

"One Thousand Homeless Men," by Alice Willard Sol- 

"The Alms House," by Alexander Johnson. 

"Handbook of Settlements," by Robert A. Woods and 
Albert J. Kennedy. 

"Report on the Desirability of Establishing an Employ 
ment Bureau in the City of New York," by Edward T. 
Devine, Ph. D., LL. D. 

How suggestive of the high plane and singleness of 
purpose which characterized the lives of the Quakers is the 
characterization of this work by one of the Trustees chosen 
by Mrs. Sage. He says: "It is with an eye single to the 
beneficent result to be accomplished, and with absolute dis 
regard of the degree of credit which might come to the Rus- 


sell Sage Foundation that the work has been carried on." 
So we see the Sage Foundation is, as has been well said, "A 
great clearing house of information." 

The average citizen who sees the new interest in child 
ren s playgrounds that has taken the country by storm and 
which means so much to the coming men and women, may 
not identify Mrs. Sage with it, yet the Sage Foundation has 
made the most careful investigations into this subject, and, 
as a result, we have thirty elaborate pamphlets treating 
every phase of this important subject available for every 
school district in the world. The innate modesty of the 
Sage Foundation workers is ever present and ever suggestive 
of the plain and simple life of Friends who cared not for 
glory or fame. The Sage Foundation is often found stand 
ing behind some good project lending a helping hand, mak 
ing a doubtful thing a success. This is well illustrated in 
the work for the blind done by the Foundation. In the 
summer of 1908 the work was carried on under the title of 
"The Committee of the New York Association for the 
Blind." There was no visible association with Mrs. Sage, 
yet hundreds of children were being saved from blindness 
by the Sage Foundation. 

The Foundation in scores of ways stands behind the 
poor. In her walks on Long Island Mrs. Sage frequently 
talked to workingmen, who did not know her identity and so 
learned luminous facts about their condition. From such ex 
perience grew the idea of building practical homes for work 
ingmen on Long Island. It was not a charity, but pure 
philanthropy with a judicious business basis behind it; so 
that no man lost his self-respect in taking advantage of what 
she offered. No purer or better aid to humanity can be 
conceived than this. 


Mrs. Sage is revolutionizing the loan business and formu 
lating a system all over the country to prevent the robbery 
of the poor. An extraordinary feature of her work through 
the Foundation is thoroughness. Not only is financial aid 
given where it is needed, but the Foundation works on the 
principle that if an object needs aid it should receive com 
plete exploitation, so that the philanthropist of to-morrow 
or a century from now will have at hand full and complete 
data on the subject from every point of view. This is ac 
complished by the publication of books, and up to July, 
1911, the Foundation has published nearly thirty volumin 
ous volumes, forming a "growing library of prime import 
ance to all interested in the social and economic aspects of 
modern life, based upon painstaking inquiries into condi 
tions of life, labor and education by competent investigat 

The idea of this gentle descendant of Quakers is to make 
life worth living in the truest sense, to make it brighter, 
cheerier, make it worth while. She not only takes the light 
of religion into a poor man s home, but she aids the cheerful 
giver everywhere by telling him or her how to give and the 
exact conditions which prevail regarding the charity in view. 
Six or more books have been written on the City of Pitts- 
burg alone to alleviate the condition of men and women 
in cities of this kind. Under the head of Correction and 
Prevention are five volumes. Some of the titles are : Pris 
on Reform; Penal Institutions; Preventive Treatment of 
Neglected Children; Cottage and Congregate Institutions 
Then there are books on Housing Reform, a line in which 
Mrs. Sage is active. Four books are on Socialized Schools ; 
three on Juvenile Courts, while others refer to the ideal 


almshouse, homeless men, a study of one thousand cases; 
handbook of Settlements ; Standard of Living among Work- 
ingmen and Women, how it can be raised; Workingmen s 
Insurance, etc. 

One is amazed in contemplating the extraordinary di 
versity of this work. Apparently there is hardly a con 
dition of the poor or of labor that has not aroused the inter 
est and sympathy of this descendant of Quakers, who seeks 
with unerring wisdom and intuition the betterment of 

Mrs. Sage has taken an especial interest in the blind. 
Possibly it will startle the reader to know that the State of 
New York alone has over six thousand blind persons more 
or less dependent upon it. Mrs. Sage discovered that of 
this army nineteen hundred and eighty-four had lost their 
sight unnecessarily, while six hundred and twenty were 
blind of a preventable disease. The influence of the Sage 
Foundation was directed in this direction, and a permanent 
committee appointed under Samuel E. Eliot who now con 
ducts a national campaign for the prevention of blindness. 
Thousands of pamphlets were issued. Those having the 
care of infants were examined; and the subject investigated 
all over the nation. 

I conceive one of the great results accomplished by the 
Foundation not the giving of money alone, but the public 
awakening, the creating of an interest in the subject among 
thousands in Europe and America. The Sage Foundation 
has aided the Red Cross, the Presidents Homes Commission, 
and the Child Saving Congress in Washington, and one has 
but to glance at the publications of the Charity Organiza 
tion Department to see how earnestly, how thoroughly and 

Kllf J0ll\ ENDICOTT 


**>* s ^fS^i j&SSfS ^2L~5 I w fl 

^5 ^^i^4^H4^|^l^^^ 


conscientiously the work of investigation has been done. 
There are books on the "Dominant Note of Modern Philan 
thropy," The Broadening Sphere of Organized Charity," 
"The Formation of Charity Organization in Small Cities," 
"Organization in Smaller Cities," "First Principles in the 
Relief of Distress," "Friendly Visiting," "The Interrelation 
of Social Movements," "Transportation, Agreement and 
Code," "The Real Story of a Real Family," etc. Then 
there is an Exchange Branch with its minor publications, in 
all of which, knowing the president of the Foundation, one 
sees her fine intelligence, her broad charity as the dominant 
chord. How can 1 make humanity better? is the question 
this descendant of Quakers is answering. 

I am constantly reminded of the social life of the Quak 
ers where the charity is so finely administered in the various 
communities that the objects of charity are not known to 
the public. The poor never lose their self respect. Their 
children are educated in schools side by side with the child 
ren of the rich and it is not known that they are being edu 
cated by the Society at large; they often do not know it 

What Mrs. Sage s work means, especially the feature of 
investigation, and the resultant reports, can be appreciated 
by those who know that millions have been thrown away in 
America and England by false charity and ignorance regard 
ing its proper administration. The Sage Foundation not 
only gives to charity intelligently, but it carries on a bureau 
of education for charity workers in the years to come and 
aids institutional and individual efforts over the breadth 
and length of the land. Every great fund for charity, 
every charitably disposed man or woman becomes the target 


of professional criminals who pose as victims to the inevit 
able, deserving charity. In the years past thousands of 
these parasites have fed upon the charitably disposed, due 
to the lack of information and systematic method, fully 
supplied in these elaborate investigations designed to aid 
charity and those interested in it. 

To intelligently aid communities, or correct errors in 
social centers, it is evident that complete knowledge of the 
conditions is essential. I find in this connection a most in 
teresting book by Miss Byington, Association Field Secre 
tary of the Sage Foundation Charity Organization, entitled, 
"What Social Workers should know about their own Com 
munities." This volume indicates and suggests activities 
in hundreds of directions, showing the keen, intelligent 
direction that has marked every step in the work of Mrs . 
Sage. There is scarcely a field of education where the work 
is to fit the public for the struggle for existence in which her 
discerning mind is not seen. In the year 1907 Mrs. Sage 
gave one million dollars to the Emma Willard Seminary of 
Troy, N. Y., of which she is a graduate and also President 
of the Emma Willard Association. In the Troy Press of 
April 4, 1908, I find the following reference to this munifi 
cent donation to the uplift of the country : 

"The broadside of beautiful buildingss projected by the 
Emma Willard School, presented today, and made possible 
by the munificence of Mrs. Russell Sage, the most eminent 
graduate from this venerable, victorious and renowned in 
stitution, will be viewed with pleasure and pride by our 
people. This presentation is representative of an epochal 
change in the direction of development, and prophetic of an 
ample magnitude, which will assure the attainment of a col- 


legiate classification in the near future. Incidentally this 
School will play its full part in making Troy one of the 
leading education centres of the country a very valuable 
moral and material asset for any community. The cause of 
humanity is under heavy obligations to noble women of the 
type of Emma Willard and Mrs. Russell Sage, whose names 
will be inseparably interlinked in the progressive history of 
the Emma Willard School." 

One of the beautiful halls of this series is known as the 
Sage Hall, which "has all the essentials of a home for 
students," in which the highest type of refined home life is 
cultivated. It is entirely separated from the other build 
ings, and, therefore, makes possible an atmosphere of quiet 
and rest." 

To the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, Mrs. 
Sage has given one million dollars; an institution that well 
deserves the gift, having graduated a remarkable number of 
men who have become distinguished citizens. To one of 
the public schools of Sag Harbor, L. I., she gave $1 15,000. 
To the Young Men s Christian Association of New York 
$350,000. and to the American Seaman s Friend Society, 
$150,000. To the Northfield, Mass., Seminary, an old 
and worthy institution, she gave $1^0,000. 

Mrs. Sage s sympathy for indigent women found express 
ion in a gift of $350,000, toward a home for them, while a 
gift of $100,000, to the University of Syracuse, is but one 
among many which she has personally made, and is still 
making, all marked demonstrations of the intelligent ful 
fillment of what to her is a sacred trust. 

Among the gifts to the public made by Mrs. Sage are the 
Constitution Island opposite West Point, and gifts of art, 


objects and collections to the great museums of the country; 
an illustration is the Vroman Ivories to the Metropolitan 
Museum. One of the latest is the church building given to 
the First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway, L. I., and 
dedicated as a memorial to her husband. As Dr. Pierson 
said of the beautiful window of this church, it has a three 
fold offering: first, a tribute of a wife to a husband; second, 
a tribute of a church member to a house of God; third, a 
tribute of a Christian believer to her Divine Lord and 
Master. One might add a fourth, a gift to the whole peo 
ple of a house of God." 

The church stands on the highest land in Far Rockaway, 
and presents a noble appearance. It is cruciform in shape ; 
and contains four hundred and thirty-six seats and has every 
facility for carrying on the work of the church. In various 
parts of the church the personality of Mrs. Sage is shown. 
Against the rear wall of the chancel and facing the congre 
gation, is a large elaborately carved reredos of oak, upon 
which appear various symbols as follows: Near the top 
are twelve shields decorated in color bearing upon them the 
symbols of the passion of our Lord. Below these shields 
runs an inscription, chosen by Mrs. Sage and taken from the 
twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew wherein is that wonderful 
picture of the Son of Man, sitting in glory upon His throne 
surrounded by His Holy Angels. The inscription is as fol 
lows : "Come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom, 
for I was an hungered and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, 
ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, ye took me in; naked, 
ye clothed me; I was sick, ye visited me; I was in prison, 
and ye came unto me." 

The Tiffany memorial window in the church is one of the 


best and most purely American windows ever seen in this 
country. Mrs. Sage suggested the motive, and as Mr. Tif 
fany said, "It is the symbol of Life, the soft meadows from 
which the tree has its birth, representing the earliest stages 
of life. Then as the roots and trunk grow, they reach out 
over the rocks of the hillside and the trunks become gnarled 
with age. But all through life it is lifting its branches to 
ward the sky, the land of Promise." 

This beautiful window, an inspiration in itself, recalled 
to Mrs. Sage the following poem which she selected for the 
purpose : 

"Rose and amber around the sun, 

Lo, another day is done, 
And on the horizon s rim, 

Slumber the mountains, vast and dim; 
Thus in the embrace of waiting skies, 

Earth will rest till morning rise. 

When the shadows fall for me, 

Love, my rose and amber be, 
And on life s horizon rim, 

Heavenly mountains slumber dim, 
Jesus, Savior, to Thy breast, 

Fold me then in perfect rest. 
Safe in shielding such as Thine, 

Till the eternal morning shine." 

Beneath the window is a brass tablet bearing the follow 
ing inscription: 

This Window is Erected 

in Memory of 
My beloved husband 

Russell Sage 

Margaret Olivia Sage 

In the year of our Lord 1909. 


In attempting to sum up the effect of Quaker influence in 
the twentieth century through Mrs. Sage, who, on paternal 
and maternal sides, has come down from distinguished 
American Quakers, the pioneer of this movement in 1656, 
it is manifest that I cannot exhaust the subject here. I 
merely present the salient features, and am confident if the 
real and complete life of Mrs. Sage could be written it 
would be found that her private gifts, philanthropies and 
deeds of charity and goodness of which no one hears, would 
be in proportionate importance with those which are made 
public through the channel of the Sage Foundation and its 
various interests, previously mentioned. In riding with her 
one day we came to the gate of a park where the guards 
were old soldiers. As they saluted the kindly-faced gentle 
woman, I fancied I knew what was passing in her mind, a 
picture of the war of a nation and of the men who had helped 
to save it, the thought of all it meant finding expression 
in her face, a benediction to these two old soldiers. She 
stopped the carriage, handing a sum of money to them, and 
they were at attention saluting as she passed on. The act, 
spontaneous and unobtrusive, was a little one, but nothing 
could better illustrate the responsive, kindly, patriotic, 
appreciative nature of this fourth great granddaughter 
of Christopher Holder, the Quaker martyr; and of another 
grandsire, one Captain Miles Standish, who led the first 
Puritans on to the forest-lined shores of the American 

That Mrs. Sage represents in a marked degree the best 
elements of her distinguished ancestry, is evidenced by the 
opinions of many authorities and all who have been brought 
into contact with her. The author of an exhaustive work 


on the Sage and Slocum families says: "She inherits, with 
out doubt, the best traits of her distinguished ancestors 
whose personal history has already been given. Environ 
ment has been favorable to the development of these char 
acteristics. Only those who have enjoyed the most intimate 
acquaintance with her could appreciate the qualities of mind 
and heart, and the noble qualities with which nature has en 
dowed her. One of her closest friends, who, after referring 
to her ancestral line, says: 

"From such a parentage it follows that Margaret Olivia 
Slocum was blessed with rare mental endowments and a 
harmony of character that have signally qualified her for an 
active and conspicuously useful career. With the wisdom 
of a Solomon, with the mature judgment of a Judge in 
Equity, and with a generosity that does credit to her heart as 
well as to her business sagacity, she has met and overcome 
the serious difficulties that beset her pathway. In her bene 
factions she has chosen wisely, and given where, in her 
opinion, the result of long experience, the greatest good 
could be accomplished; and it goes without saying, that in 
the future thousands will rise up to call her blessed. In 
dealing with old employees of her husband, who had served 
him faithfully for many years, she generously doubled the 
amount of their salaries. No woman ever experienced in a 
greater degree the scriptural assurance that it is more blessed 
to give than to receive. Her whole life has been spent 
in doing good and contributing to the happiness of others." 

"Those who have known Mrs. Sage only as the gentle, 
sympathetic, Christian woman, could realize that she is a 
woman of indomitable will, fearless, and self-possessed, and 
equal to any emergency. Incidents in her life, known to only 


a few of her most intimate friends, have proved this be 
yond question. In this respect she is one woman among a 

This reference to Mrs. Sage as a descendant of Quakers 
and prominent Presbyterians in the last century, is not of 
course intended as a complete life of the subject, yet it will 
not be out of place to refer to her distinguished brother Col. 
Joseph Jermain Slocum, who served with honor and dis 
tinction throughout the Civil War. He married Miss Sal- 
lie L Hommedieu. Col. Slocum had two sons, Col. Herbert 
Jermain Slocum, who graduated from West Point in 1872 
and has served in the Spanish, Cuban and Indian Wars with 
distinction and credit to his ancestor Captain Miles Stand- 
ish; the other son, Major Stephen L Hommedieu Slocum, 
has an enviable record as an Indian fighter, having received 
his appointment at the hands of President Hayes for merito 
rious conduct as aide on the staff of Gen. Sturgis in the In 
dian campaign of 1878. His executive and diplomatic talents 
have made him particularly valuable to his country as mili 
tary attache at the Courts of St. Petersburg, Sweden and 
England. He was on the staff of Lord Roberts during the 
African War, and was sent to Africa on a secret and special 
mission which he carried out with signal credit and heroism. 

In perusing the life of Mrs. Sage, as briefly outlined, no 
one can question that the American living descendants of 
pioneer Quakers are fulfilling the promise of their ancestors. 
It would be difficult to find a portion of the country that has 
not been benefited in some way by the benefactions of Mrs. 
Sage. The Willard School and the Institute of Technol 
ogy have been referred to, and in 1909 Mrs. Sage gave to 
Princeton University a beautiful building surmounted by a 

//o/,/>/-;/, you /;/ 

Presented to Princeton r>nrernifi/ l>i/ 1/r.s. It u .well Nwir/r in Honor <,f 
Ilir Fourth <!rit (Inn^lfntlur. Chrifitoiihcr llolilcr (K>~><>) 

^> V. 

c 5 
t z 

s. ? 

w -^ 


tower, one of the most commanding and impressive piles 
connected with the University. This she gave as a memor 
ial to her fourth great grandfather Christopher Holder. In 
the building is a tablet bearing the following : 



Mrs. Sage has always been interested in nature, and her 
contributions to the Central Park Garden are well known. 
A particular object of her regard has been the birds, and a 
number of Audubon Societies have benefited. As Vice- 
President of the Audubon Society of California, I received 
a sum from her in 1909 which enabled the Society to send a 
lecturer into the schools of the state to educate the coming 
citizens on the economic value of birds. Her greatest work 
in this direction was the purchase of a large tract of land in 
Louisiana in 1912, to be used in perpetuity as a bird pre 
serve. No one who has not witnessed the wanton destruc 
tion of birds in the Gulf states can appreciate what this 
means. Mrs. Sage s gift means that the extinction of many 
birds is prevented, as without some refuge where birds can 
breed without interruption thousands will be slaughtered 
and the end soon come. 


It is by such gifts as these that the subject of this chapter 
has received that which is beyond price, and which cannot 
be bought the love, affection and profound respect of a 
great nation. 


In that portion of the Journal of George Fox relating to 
the year 1655, he writes, "About this time several Friends 
went beyond sea, to declare the everlasting truth of God." 
The Friends referred to were Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, 
who reached the island of Barbadoes in that year, this port 
being at the time one of the most convenient points 
from which to reach the American continent. Mary Fisher 
had been a minister since 1652, and had suffered much, hav 
ing been confined in York Castle for nearly two years. She 
was one of the Friends who undertook to preach at Cam 
bridge University, but on the order of the Mayor was, with 
others, "whipped at the Market Cross till the blood ran 
down their bodies." While suffering this terrible punish 
ment in public, Mary Fisher was engaged in praying for her 
tormentors and asking forgiveness for them, much after the 
manner of the early Americans when they were burnt at the 
stake by the natives. Possessed of such an heroic character, 
Mary Fisher and her companion, Ann Austin, who was the 
mother of five children, were well calculated to assail the 
Puritans in their stronghold; and in 1656 they landed in 
Boston, being passengers from Barbados on the ship "Swal 
low," Simon Kempthorn, captain. 

JQie appearance of two Quakers in the harbor of the 
Puritan colony occasioned something in the nature of a 
panic, and the officials decided to stop the movement then 
and there. 


Deputy Governor Richard Bellingham gave orders that 
they should not be allowed to land. Their effects were 
searched and about one hundred Quaker books and pamph 
lets found, all of which were publicly burned at the market 
place by the hangman, despite the fact that Nicholas Up- 
sall, an influential Puritan, attempted to buy them and of 
fered five pounds for the privilege of speaking to the 
women. The case having been decided against them on the 
charge of being Quakers, the two women were brought 
ashore and committed to jail; deprived of all rights, strip 
ped naked and searched for signs of witchcraft. Even the 
windows of their cell were boarded up, and a fine of five 
pounds established for the benefit of anyone who should 
have the temerity to speak to them. 

After five weeks of this, the captain of a Barbados ship 
was put under bonds to deliver them at that port, and to al 
low no one to communicate with them. This was carried 
out, and so ended the first attempt of Quakers to land on 
American shores. The jailer took their Bibles and bedding 
in lieu of his fees, and Governor Endicott expressed his re 
gret not having been in Boston at the time, as he should 
have given them a "whipping." The ship sailed for Barba 
dos August 5th, and must have passed the "Speedwell, 15 
bound in from England, as she arrived on the 7th of August, 
1656, with a party of Friends under the leadership of 
Christopher Holder of Alveston, a rich young Englishman, 
who, it is believed, was a large contributor to the expense 
fund of the expedition. His companions were John Cope- 
land, Thomas Thurston, William Brend, Mary Price, Sarah 
Gibbons, Mary Weatherhead and Dorothy Waugh. Eleven 
weeks in jail, confiscation of property and return to England 


was their fate at the hands of the Puritans; and as it is pop 
ularly supposed that the latter sought the shores of America 
to enjoy *religious liberty and freedom, it may be germain to 
the subject to glance at these dominant Englishmen, who 
were honestly panic-stricken by the appearance of a few 
men and women, whose message was so evidently peace and 
good will to men. 

In the early Virginian settlement of Englishmen in Amer 
ica it was understood that the religion of the settlers should 
be that of the Church of England; but the rules were lax 
and the real attraction of New England to the Puritans was 
the possibility of religious life free from the supervision or 
jurisdiction of the king. In 1643, thirteen years before the 
arrival of the Quakers, Sir William Berkeley enacted laws 
to the effect that all religious instruction should be in con 
formity with the rules of the Church of England. This 
was followed by the banishment of the non-conformists. 

*It should be remembered that the elastic term "religious liberty," 
used by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, had an entirely dif 
ferent interpretation than it has to-day. What the Puritans meant 
was, not that they desired to invite all religious sects to come and 
abide with them with equal liberty of conscience after the later Penn 
fashion; far from it. Their idea of liberty was to establish themselves 
so far from the Stuart king that they could live the religion they- 
brought with them in peace and quiet. It is true the contrary is the 
popular belief, and it is true that the actual facts are that they came 
over to establish a theocratic state, where they could establish their 
own religion, a rational one for the time, and live it. 

The coming of the Quakers forced them against their will to throw 
open America to true religious liberty, as we have and understand it 
to-day. If Winthrop and his followers had been able to look ahead 
and see^the "religious liberty" the Quakers were to force on them, 
they, in all probability, would have remained in England and fought 
their ethical and other battles in their own land. This in justice to 
the Puritans. 


Then came more liberty under the Protectorate; and then 
began a Puritan migration to America for the avowed pur 
pose of seeking liberty of conscience, as they understood it. 
The Puritans were made up of all sects, men and women 
who desired peace and religious liberty, and the Puritan 
movement to America became of paramount importance. 
Non-conformists who had fled to Holland to escape perse 
cution, Englishmen who resented the display of pomp and 
splendor of the church, its power and political influence, 
men and women who were anti-Papists and others all joined 
the movement, became Pilgrims and decided to sail for 

An application for land had been made to King James; 
and while he refused to ignore the question of religion, he 
disposed of it diplomatically by saying to those who de 
manded the right to free religion, "If they demeaned them 
selves quietly, no inquiry would be made." This was held 
to be a sufficient guarantee for -the Puritans, and in 1620 
about one hundred persons, to be known later as the Pilgrim 
Fathers, landed at Cape Cod, after a voyage across the At 
lantic of two months or fifty-six days. 

Eight years after the arrival of the "May Flower" with 
Miles Standish and his friends, John Endicott arrived on 
the coast in the ship "Abagail." He had been an officer in 
the army; was a man of vigor, a severe disciplinarian, with a 
love of adventure, and was selected to head the party which 
was to represent a new colony of Puritans and to keep clear 
of the separatists of the Plymouth colony and various other 
settlements and grants which had been made by the Crown 
with more or less carelessness. In 1628 a tract of land was 
obtained from the New England Council ranging from three 


miles north of the Charles River, Boston, to three miles 
north of the Merrimac. This was the width of the grant, 
but the length was another matter. It included the present 
seaboard of Charlestown, Nahant, Lynn, Salem, etc., west to 
the Pacific Ocean, taking in Cape Blanco and the adjacent 
California coast almost reaching to Salem, Oregon, not to 
speak of a part of Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, 
New York and all the intervening land and later states a 
noble grant, though it must be explained that the English 
supposed the Pacific coast to be somewhere west of where 
New York is at present. The entire region, two hundred 
and eighty-four years ago was absolutely unknown. 

This territory was granted to six gentlemen representing 
the Puritans of whom John Endicott was one, and it is not 
necessary to point out that it conflicted with the Gorges, 
Mason and several other grants. Colonial history is filled 
with the contests of the Gorges and others, but the fact re 
mains that Endicott and a party of sixty men in September 
1628, made their headquarters at a point they named Salem, 
in token of their peaceful settlement with other claimants. 
It would seem that one object was the establishment of a 
trading company. The original object appears to have 
been to give the Puritans a base in the New World, while 
others again thought that the main object was to convert the 
savages. Be this as it may, Endicott proved to be an ideal 
pioneer. He cleared the land, leveled the forests, estab 
lished himself and his backers, and in March 1629 a royal 
charter was secured and a corporation formed, known as the 
Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New Eng 
land. The officers were a governor, deputy, and a council 
of eighteen assistants who were elected annually by the 


Company. They made the laws so long as they did not in 
terfere with England. No mention was made of religious 
liberty, and the Puritans were free to make such laws and 
regulations as suited themselves. It was a popular delus 
ion that they established a colony which was to have abso 
lute religious liberty. The toleration of the colony was the 
Puritan definition of freedom of conscience, something 
very different from that announced by William Penn when 
he founded Pennsylvania and threw open the doors of the 
colony to Jew and Gentile, Baptist, Quaker, Presbyterian, 
Papist or Church of England, assuring full rights and justice 
to all so long as they obeyed the laws. 

It is only right to say that had Endicott and his friends 
demanded the inclusion of a clause assuring religious lib 
erty to all in the new charter, the Crown would have refused 
it.. But the guarantees did not ask for it and did not desire 
it. Ships and immigrants now sailed from England, Endi 
cott became governor, and a great exodus to the colony 

In 1630 a fleet of eleven ships and fifteen hundred Puri 
tans arrived in America, and with them the entire Company 
with its court and charter. Endicott, who had done yoe- 
man s service, was now superceded by John Winthrop as 
governor and retired to his Orchard Farm near Salem. In 
1649 John Wintrop died, and John Endicott again became 
governor an office he held for thirteen years. He was an 
intolerant of the intolerants, and the rumors which for some 
time had reached the colony about the Quakers and their 
doctrine of an inner light, filled him with disgust. John 
Norton, a religious fanatic, possessed of a "morbid fear of 
Satan," had taken Cotton s place, and did not fail to assure 


Endicott that the Quakers were in league with the Evil One 
and were dangerous infidels. Cotton Mather added his 
testimony that the Quakers were in the habit of referring to 
the Bible as the "word of the devil." 

With these and other charges the enemies of the Quakers 
filled the minds of the Puritans until many honestly believed 
that the Quakers were a dangerous menace, and prayed 
that they would be delivered from them as they had been 
from witches. In a word, Governor Endicott was not a 
tyrant. He was a valuable man to the new colony, but he 
conscientiously believed that the Quakers were a thinly- 
veiled disaster, a menace to the colony a frame of mind 
which explains his future action. 

Such was the situation in Massachusetts Colony when the 
first Quakers entered it. Some of them thought they were 
going to a land of freedom .when the truth was, the colony 
was for the Puritans and no one else, so far as religion and 
Calvinism was concerned. 

Captain Miles Standish was a dominant factor in this 
party which in a few days again landed at a point they 
named Plymouth. The struggles and privations of these 
heroic men and women are well known facts of history. 
They were decimated by disease and by the Indians, who 
resented the invasion. The colony grew very slowly and 
when ten years had passed, there were but three hundred 
Separatists or Puritans in the Colony of New England. 
Among the early trials was the persistency of the leaders of 
the Church of England to control the colony, and dominate 
its religious policy. The Reformation was a wonderful up 
rising for good in England; but the Puritan movement was 
evidence that it did not result in the complete toleration 


looked for; hence most of the emigrants who became Puri 
tans were non-conformists, seeking complete freedom from 
intolerance; a fact which makes their attitude to the Quak 
ers in 1656 and later, one of the extraordinary phases of 
modern Christianity. 

As the Plymouth colony increased in size and wealth, the 
influence of the established Church became more insistent 
and pronounced. Bishop Laud was among the leaders as a 
protagonist of the principle that religious freedom in the 
colony was but the establishment of a dangerous precedent. 
I have dwelt upon this to illustrate the curious phase of 
doctrinal Christianity, that a people striving to throw off 
an incubus deliberately refused to others the very charity or 
freedom they had demanded for years. 

This Colonial Dissenter movement was at first favored by 
the government; it was well to get. rid of these seventeenth 
century "cranks" and insurgents; but when the mother 
country was evidently threatened with depletion, an at 
tempt was made to stop it. 

Oliver Cromwell had decided to go to America, and it 
so happened that he embarked upon the first vessel to come 
within the ban of church and government. At one time 
eight ships filled with passengers, were lying in the Thames 
ready to sail when the order was given by the government 
to stop them; and with others, Cromwell was forced to re 
linquish his purpose and go ashore. This prohibition was 
but temporary, and within the next few years fifteen or 
twenty thousand English men and women Puritans found 
their way to America, with the avowed purpose of reaching 
a land where they could enjoy religious non-interference, if 
not political liberty. That they accomplished this desider- 


atum is well known, and so far as religion was concerned 
they were practically undisturbed. 

The natural sequence of such a consummation would be the 
establishment of the great principle of religious toleration, 
which is one of the pillars of the American Constitution to 
day; but apparently this idea did not occur to them. They 
denounced Roman Apostacy, reviled the Church of England 
and its rites as remnants of Papacy, and established in the 
wilderness of America a system of non-conformist intoler 
ance without equal in the history of the formative period of 
any nation. Not only this, they determined to resist to the 
bitter end any attempt to introduce any other belief on the 
ground that the imposition of "the common prayer worship" 
and other devices of the enemy, which they had left their 
homes to avoid, "would be a sinful violation of the worship 
of God." It appears that all the great religious reforma 
tions of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
were handicapped or burdened by singular conditions that 
practically rendered them partly inoperative. 

The Quakers weakened the force of their great message to 
the world by non-essentials, childish in their character, as 
the wearing of hats and insistent use of thee and thou; 
while the Puritans, numbering among their body politic 
some of the finest men of the kingdom, the elements of a 
great and powerful nation, deliberately shut their eyes to 
the very principle of civic justice and righteousness they had 
claimed for themselves, raised aloft a banner of rank intol 
erance, and under the cry of New England for the Puri 
tans, built about themselves a wall of egotism and pedantry, 
and prepared to repel all alein sectarian assaults. This 
monumental bigotry found its first expression in the ship- 


ping back to England of two members of the expedition of 
1629, who had been appointed members of the Colonial 
Council. When it was discovered that the two unfortu 
nates were Episcopalians they were arrested as spies, 
and sent to England in the first ship, their particular crime 
being that they had attempted to establish in this free land, 
and specifically in Salem, a church of their own belief. 

John Fiske in his "Dutch and Quaker Colonies" thus de 
fines the doctrinal difference between the religions of the 
Quaker and the Puritan: "The ideal of the Quakers was 
flatly antagonistic to that of the settlers of Massachusetts. 
The Christianity of the former was freed from Judaism as 
far as was possible; the Christianity of the latter was heav- 
1 ily encumbered with Judaism. The Quaker aimed at com 
plete separation between Church and State ; the government 
of Massachusetts was patterned after the ancient Jewish 
theocracy in which church and state were identified. The 
Quaker was tolerant of differences in doctrine; the Calvin- 
ist regarded such tolerance as a deadly sin. For these 
reasons the arrival of a few Quakers in Boston in 1656 was 
considered an act of invasion and treated as such." Such, 
very briefly described, was the situation in New England 
when the Quakers arrived in 1655-6. The Puritans were 
not taken by surprise. They had been warned and were 
cognizant of the campaign of George Fox in England, and 
as but one side of the history reached them, a Quaker was 
looked upon with horror, and as a menace to the new com 
munities and settlements, a something to be kept out at all 
hazards, if the morals of the colony were to be preserved in 
tact and inviolate. While Mary Fisher and Ann Austin 
brought the first Quaker documents to the colony, anti- 


Quaker pamphlets had been freely circulated, and the public 
mind poisoned deeply and irrevocably. The Puritans saw 
Scylla and Charybdis in every suspect. Some of the liter 
ary assaults against the Quakers were remarkable in their 
ingenuity, and nearly all were written by distinguished non 
conformists, many of New England, who really knew noth 
ing of George Fox or of Quakerism. A typical pamphlet 
was by Francis Higginson. It was entitled, "A Brief Re 
lation of the Irreligion of the Northern Quakers, 1653." 
Thomas Welde, who aided in the heresy trials of Anne 
Hutchinson, was the author of "The Perfect Pharisee under 
Monkish Holiness," also, "A Further Discovery of that 
Generation of men called Quakers," 1654. These pamph 
lets as well as the replies are among the literary curiosities of 
the seventeenth century, and an illustration of the latter is 
given in the appendix, by Christopher Holder. 

As though to quicken the terror of the Puritans, they had 
just emerged from all the horrors of witch craft, the sister 
of Deputy Governor Bellingham having been executed as a 
witch but two years previous to the arrival of Mary Fisher 
and Ann Austin who would have been burned with their 
books had the gross and significant examination of their 
naked bodies by the authorities resulted in the discovery of 
any "signs" of a witch. Such was the situation in New 
England when the "Woodhouse" with Christopher Holder 
and his friends and fellow Quakers sailed toward the coast 
of New England in 1656. The Puritans believed them to 
be a menace to the salvation of mankind, and the inoffensive 
followers of George Fox were feared and dreaded as a pesti 
lence, or as would have been a mad dog running amuck in a 
defenseless community. 



Cromwell was the uncrowned king of Great Britain when 
the first Quakers landed in America. Mary Fisher and Ann 
Austin, as we have seen, were carried from their ship to the 
jail, and later re-shipped to Barbadoes. The first direct 
expedition of a body of Quakers sailed into Massachusetts 
Bay the gth of August, 1656. A facsimile of the ship 
ping list in the possession of the author shows the following 
names as passengers on the "Speedwell" : 

Name Residence Age 

Christopher Holder, "Q" Winterbourne 25 

William Brend "Q" 
John Copeland "Q" 
Thomas Thurston "Q" 
Mary Prince "Q" 
Sarah Gibbons, "Q" 
Mary Weatherhead "Q" 
Dorothy Waugh "Q" 
John Mulford 
Richard Smith 
Francis Brusley 
Thomas Noyce 
Martha Edwards 
Joseph Bowles 
Lester Smith 
C. Clarke 
Edward Lane 

(9 miles from Bristol) 













Name Residence Age 

Theo. Richardson 19 

John Earle 1? 

Thomas Barnes 20 

Shadrack Hopgood 14 

Thomas Goodnough 20 

Nathaniel Goodnough 16 

John Fay 8 

William Taylor 11 

Richard Smith 28 

Muhulett Munnings 24 

Margaret Mott 12 

Henry Reeve 8 

Henry Seker 8 

John Morse 40 

Nicholas Danison 45 

John Baldwin 21 

Rebecca Worster 18 

Mary Baldwin 20 

John Wigins 15 

John Miller 24 

Thomas Howe 4 

John Crane 1 1 

Charles Baalam 18 

The "Q" after the first eight names suggests that some 
official indicated them as Quakers, perhaps was forced to do 
so for the benefit of some of the authorities to whom he was 
obliged to report the character of emigrants. As soon as 
it became known that eight Quakers were in the harbor, a 
panic seized the Puritans; and according to Neal, the 

Historian, the Puritan magistrate took alarm as if the town 


was threatened with some imminent danger." A special 
council was convened by Governor Sir John Endicott, and 
the trials and tribulations of the New England Quakers 

The Council issued orders to search the boxes of the Quak 
ers for "hellish pamphlets and erroneous books," and to ar 
rest and bring them into court. This was accomplished 
the eight men and women being marched through a jeering, 
threatening crowd of superstitious citizens, not naturally 
vicious, but narrow as one could imagine ; a people, many of 
whom had accepted witchcraft, and but recently passed 
through all the horrors of this strange and seemingly impos 
sible delusion. The Quakers were marched into court, 
where they were examined as to their religious beliefs by 
Deputy Governor Bellingham, whose sister but two years 
previous had been executed as a witch, and several priests 
who had just officiated at the burning of the Quaker pamph 
lets and books in the public market. 

The examination resulted somewhat disastrously to the 
Puritans, and the Quakers took advantage of it to expound 
their doctrines to the listeners. They made such progress, 
showing such complete familiarity with the Bible, that even 
the magistrate grew impatient, and asked one of the non 
plused priests, "What is the difference between you and the 
Quakers ?" It was too fine a point for magistrate or priest, 
and, with the admonition from Governor Endicott, "Take 
care that you do not break our ecclesiastical laws, for then 
you are sure to stretch by a halter," the Quakers were sent 
to jail and kept there for two months and a half. During 
this time various laws were enacted against them on the 
other hand and many sympathizers created, as the various 


examinations of the terrible Quakers had demonstrated, to 
the more intelligent portion of the community, that they 
were a very harmless and spiritual-minded people, who 
should be treated with respect. 

John Copeland and Christopher Holder made an immed 
iate demand for release on the ground that there was no law 
for their retention; but the jailer showed them his orders: 

"You are by virtue hereof ordered to keep the Quakers 
formerly committed to your custody as dangerous persons 
industrious to improve all their abilities to secure the peo 
ple of this jurisdiction both by words and letters, to the 
abominable tenets of the Quakers and to keep them close 
prisoners, not suffering them to speak or confer with any 
person, not permitting them to have paper or ink. 

Edward Rawson, 

Aug. 18, 1656. 


Endicott well knew that he was acting on his own respon 
sibility; but as the authorities had displayed some friend 
ship for certain Quakers, he convened the council at the 
earliest possible moment, and secured the passage of the 
first anti-Quaker law in America. This was preceded by a 
letter addressed to "The commissions of the United Prov 
inces," who were about to meet in Plymouth, in which End 
icott recommended, "that some general rules may be com 
mended to each general court to prevent the coming in 
amongst us from foreign places such notorious heretiques 
as Quakers , Ranters, etc." This resultant law read as fol 

"At a General Court held at Boston the 14th of October, 


"Whereas, there is a cursed sect of heretics lately risen 
up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers, who 
take upon them to be immediately sent of God, and infal 
libly assisted by the Spirit, to speak and write blasphem 
ous opinions, despising government, and the order of God in 
the church and commonwealth, speaking evil of dignities, 
reproaching and reviling magistrates and ministers, seeking 
to turn the people from the faith, and gain proselytes to 
their pernicious ways. This court, taking into considera 
tion the premises, and to prevent the like mischief, as by 
their means is wrought in our land, doth hereby order, and 
by authority of this court ,be it ordered and enacted, that 
what master, or commander of any ship, bark, pink, or 
ketch, shall henceforth bring into any harbor, creek or cove, 
within this jurisdiction, any Quaker or Quakers, or other 
blasphemous heretics , shall pay or cause to be paid, the fine 
of one hundred pounds to the treasurer of the country, ex 
cept it appear he want true knowledge or information of 
their being such, and in that case he hath liberty to clear 
himself by his oath, when sufficient proof to the contrary is 
wanting ; and for default of good payment, or good security 
for it, shall be cast into prison, and there to continue till the 
said sum be satisfied to the Treasurer as aforesaid. And 
the commander of any ketch, ship or vessel, being legally 
convicted, shall give in sufficient security to the governor, 
or any one or more of the magistrates, who have power to 
determine the same, to carry them back to the place when he 
brought them, and on his refusal so to do, the governor, or 
one or more of the magistrates, are hereby empowered to is 
sue out his or their warrants, to commit such master or com 
mander to prison, there to continue till he give in sufficient 


security to the content of the governor, or any of the magis 
trates aforesaid. And it is hereby further ordered and en 
acted, that what Quaker soever shall arrive in this country 
from foreign parts, or shall come into this jurisdiction from 
any parts adjacent, shall be forthwith committed to the 
house of correction, and, at their entrance, to be severely 
whipped and by the master thereof to be kept constantly to 
work and none suffered to converse or speak with them dur 
ing the time of their imprisonment, which shall be no longer 
than necessity requires. And it is ordered, If any person shall 
knowingly import into any harbour of this jurisdiction any 
Quaker books or writings concerning their devilish opin 
ions, shall pay for such book or writings, being legally prov 
ed against him or them, the sum of five pounds ; and whoso 
ever shall disperse or conceal any such book or writing, and 
it be found with him or her ,or in his or her house, and shall 
not immediately deliver the same to the next magistrate, 
shall forfeit or pay five pounds for the dispersing or conceal 
ing of every such book or writing. And it is hereby further 
enacted, That if any person within this colony shall take 
upon them to defend the heretical opinions of the Quakers, 
or any of their books or papers as aforesaid, if legally prov 
ed, shall be fined for the first time forty shillings; if they 
shall persist in the same, and shall again defend it the 
second time, four pounds; if, notwithstanding, they shall 
again defend and maintain the said Quakers heretical opin 
ions, they shall be committed to the house of correction till 
there be convenient passage to send them out of the land, 
being sentenced by the court of assistants to banishment. 
Lastly, it is hereby ordered, That what person or persons 
soever shall revile the persons of magistrates or ministers, 


As is usual with the Quakers, such person or persons shall 
be severely whipped, or pay the sum of five pounds. 
This is a true copy of the court s order, as attests, 

Edward Rawson, Secretary." 

To emphasize the passage of this law, and render the 
position of the prisoners as disagreeable as possible, the cry- 
er proceeded through the streets, led by a drum corps, and 
on the corners read the new law. As he reached the home of 
one Nicholas Upsall, the owner came out, and denounced 
it as an outrage. It was the same Upsall who endeavored 
to buy the books of the Quakers Mary Fisher and Ann 
Austin, and offered five pounds for the privilege of speaking 
to them. It was he who gave the jailer five schillings a week 
that he might provide the prisoners with food during their 
imprisonment. For this display of sympathy Upsall was 
taken before the magistrate, fined and banished from the 
colony. He made his way to Rhode Island and later 
joined the Quakers. 

The Quakers in jail aroused much sympathy. Among 
their friends was Samuel Gorton, who had been banished 
from the Colony, and who now wrote the Quakers from 
Warwick, Rhode Island, offering them a shelter if they 
could escape. Gorton s plan was to have them sail for 
England, as though obeying the order of the court; but 
once outside the Cape the "Speedwell" was to be met by a 
vessel provided by Gorton, the Quakers transferred and tak 
en to Rhode Island. The correspondence for which I am 
indebted to Norman Penny, is as follows : 


"Correspondence of Christopher Holder and Others, Re 
lating to Gorton s Plan of Escape from Endicott s 

Order of Banishment." 

"Extracts from the Appendix to Samuel Gorton s "Anti 
dote against the Common Plague of the World." London, 
1657. 4 to. Certain copies of letters which passed be 
twixt the Penman of this Treatise and certain men newly 
come out of Old England into New; who when they were 
arrived at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay, the Governor 
being informed they were such as are called Quakers, he sent 
Officers to fetch them ashore, and being forthwith brought 
into examination what their business was into these parts 
they answered, To Spread the Gospel, and to do the work 
of the Lord, whereupon they were all committed to prison 
both men and women, there to remain till the return of the 
Ships, and then to be carried back into England, the Master 
being bound in 500, with others for security with him to 
set them ashore in England againe, and that upon his own 
cost and charge lest the purity of the Religion professed in 
the churches of New England should be defiled with Errour. 
(Barwick) Warwick, September 16, 1656. 

The Superscription. 

To the Strangers and out-casts, with respect to carnal 1 
Esrael, now in prison at Boston for the name of Christ, these 
with trust present in Massachusetts, New England. 

Christian Friends, 

The report of your demeanor, with some others of 
the same mind with you formerly put in possession of the 
place of your present aboad, as is reported to us, as also the 
errand you professe you come with into these parts, hath 


much taken my heart so that I cannot withhold my hand 
from expressing its desires after you; which present habita 
tion of yours, our selves have had a proof of from life 
grounds and reasons, that have possessed you thereof, under 
which in some measure we still remain in point of banish 
ment, under pain of death, out of these parts, a prohibition 
from that liberty, which no Christian ought to be infringed 
of. And though we have a larger room in bodily respects, 
than for present your selves have, yet we desire to see the 
prison doors open before we attempt to go out, either by 
force or stealth, or by entreaty, which we doubt not but the 
bolts will fly back in the best season, both in regard of your 
selves and us; but we apprize more of the appearance of an 
evident hand of God exalting himself in his own way, than 
we do of our bodily livelyhood, for we fear not the face of 
man, for God hath shewed us what all flesh is, otherwise we 
would visit you in the place where you remain, though we 
came unto you on our barefeet, or any that professeth the 
Lord Jesus, opposing his authority against all the powers of 
darkness. If God have brought you into these parts, as in 
struments to open the excellencies of the Tabernacle, where- 
ever the Cloud causeth you to abide, no doubt but this your 
imprisonment shall be an effectual preface to your work, to 
bring the Gain-sayers to nought, which my soul waits for, 
not with respect to any particular man s person, but with 
respect unto that universall spirit of wickedness gone out 
into the world to deceive and tyrranize, and in that respect 
my soul saith, O Lord I have waited for thy salvation. 

I may not presume to use a word of exhortation unto you, 
being I had rather (as having more need) to be admonished 
by you, not doubting but you are plentifully enabled to ad- 


monish one another, let me make bold to say thus much to 
myself, Stand still, and behold the Salvation of the Lord; 
we are Persons lie here as buried unto the Sons of men, in 
a corner of the Earth, grudged at, that we have this present 
burying place. But our God may please to send some of 
his Saints unto us, to speak words which the dead hearing 
them shall live. 

I may not trouble you further at this time, only if we 
knew that you had a mind to stay in these parts after your 
inlargement (for we hear you are to be sent back to Eng 
land) and what time the Ship would set Saile, or could have 
hope the Master would deliver you, we would endeavor to 
have a Vessell in readiness, when the Ship doeth out of 
Harbour, to take you in, and set you where you may enjoy 
your liberty. 

I marvel what manner of God your Adversaries trust in, 
who is so fearful of being infected with errour or how they 
think they shall escape the wiles and power of the Devill, 
when the arm of flesh fails them, whereby they seek to de 
fend themselves for the present, sure they think their God 
will be grown to more power and care over them, in, and 
after death, or else they will be loath to passe through it; 
but I leave them, and in Spirit cleave unto him (as being in 
you) who is ever the same all sufficient. 

In whom I am yours, 

Samuel Gorton. 

A copy of a Letter from the Men called Quakers. 

The Superscription. 

For our Friend Samuel Gorton, this deliver. 

In that measure which we have received, which is etern- 


all, we see thee, and behold thee, and have onenesse with 
thee, in that which is meek and low, and is not of this world, 
but bears witnessse against the world, that the wayes and 
works thereof are evill; and in that meek and lowspirit we 
salute thee, and owns that of God in thee which is waiting 
for, and expecting the raising of that which is under the 
Earth, and in the Grave, groaning for the removing of the 
stone which the wise professors hath and doth lay upon, that 
it might not come forth, but the time is come and coming, 
for the Angell of his presence to take away that which 
hinders, that the Prisoner may come forth, and arise to the 
glory of him, who is raised up to the glory of the Father, 
and hath overcome Hell and Death, and all the Powers of 
darkness, and is a spreading his name forth to the ends of 
the Earth, and hath sounded his Trumpet in these parts also, 
and is a beginning his war with Ameleke and the Philistines, 
and Egyptians, in this part of the world, who are set and 
setting themselves against the Lord in this the day of his 
mighty power, wherein he will exalt the horn of his anoint 
ed, and bring down all the fat kine, and Buls of Bashan, 
whose eyes are ready to start out with rage and madnesse, 
against that which is become as a burthensome stone amongst 
them, and is that stone which will break all their imagin- 
aries in pieces and shall become a great mountain, which 
shall bring down the stout hearts of the Kings of Assyria, 
and all their high looks, and level their mountains of wis 
dom and knowledge, and dry up the tongue of the Egyptian 
Sea, and shall make way for the ransomed of the Lord to 
come to Sion with joy and gladness, being redeemed from 
kindreds, Nations, Tongues, and People, by the blood of 
Jesus, which is spirit and life, in all those that obey the 


light, which from the life doth come, for the life is the light 
of men, and whosoever believes in the light, which they are 
enlightened with shall not abide in darkness, but shall have 
the light of life, which light we have obeyed in coming into 
these parts, and we do witnesse the life in the measure given 
to us, whereby we are enabled to encounter with Principalit 
ies and Powers, and wickedness in high places, and can deny 
the world and the glory of it, and take up his Crosse dayly, 
and follow him; in which we witness the power of God, 
whereby the World is crucified unto us, and us unto the 
World; and in that, in our measure we deny ourselves, and 
can wait in the eternall counsell which is out of time mani 
fested in time, not being hasty, but let thee Lord alone to do 
his own work, in his own way, and there can sit down in our 
rest, which is his will, and when he moves us, then we go 
and do his will in his power, and when he clouds we stand 
still waiting for the removing of the Cloud, and so we know 
when to journey and when not, and herein are we at rest 
when our Adversaries are in trouble, and in Egyptian dark 
ness, fitted and prepared for destruction, which assuredly 
must fall upon them, from the God of Justice. 

Friend, the Lord hath drawn forth our hearts, to this 
place in much love, Knowing in the light, that he hath a 
great seed among you, though scattered up and down, and 
are as sheep without a Shepherd, and you are travelling 
from Mountain to Hill in your wisdome and imaginations, 
the resting place being not yet known, nor cannot be known 
by the highest wisdome of the world, but in the deniall of 
it, for there is something underneath, which is not, nor can 
not be satisfied with all the divings into the mystery of 
things declared in the Scriptures of truth, which is the man 


of God s portion, and was given to that to profit withal, that 
it might be thoroughly furnished to every good word and 
work, but this is too low a thing for those which are higri 
in their wisdom and knowledge, which they can hardly 
stoop unto, that is to be come fools, that they may be wise, 
that the pure wisdome may dwell with them for evermore. 
But the Lord is come, and coming to levell the Mount 
ains, and to send the Rocks of wisdome and Knowledge, 
and to exalt that which is low and foolish to the wisdome 
of the world, and blessed shall thou, and all those be, who 
meets him in this his work, which he is doing in the Earth, 
and in this place wherein thou now dwellest, in setting up 
the King the Lord of Hosts to reign in righteousness, for his 
Tabernacle shall be among men and he will dwell in them, 
and walk in them, and he will be their God, and they shall 
be his people from henceforth even for ever. Now to that 
which thou writes to us, to know our minds to stay in these 
parts, we are unwilling to go out of these parts, if here we 
could be suffered to stay, but we are willing to mind the 
Lord, what way he will take for our staying, and if he in 
wisdome shall raise thee up, and others for that end, we 
shall be willing to accept of it; but what the Master of the 
Ship will do in the thing we know not, they endeavoring to 
force him to enter into bond of 500! to set us ashore in 
England, which he did at first refused, for which they sent 
him to prison without bail and Mainprize, as we are in 
formed ; but since he doth proffer his own bond but they will 
not at present accept it without security besides to be bound 
with him, for they are affraid that we should be set ashore 
in these parts again, therefore they make their Bond as 
strong as they can, but the Lord knows a way to break their 


bonds asunder. The Master hath been writ unto and warned 
that he should not enter bond, which if he did not, it 
would be as a Crown of honor upon his head but if he doth, 
the Lord knows how to defeat them and him too. Now 
what he doth is out of a slavish fear, because he would not 
lie in prison, and hinder his voyage, but if the bond hinder 
him not, he would have been willing to have delivered us, 
and we should have been willing to have satisfied him, 
which we did proffer him; and if he be not hindered, the 
ship will be ready to set sayl about fourteen days hence, but 
at present the Master doth not know what to doe, their de 
mands being so unjust, to force him to carry us and they not 
pay him for it, nor we shall not and yet will not take his 
own bond, but will have security besides, so that he and 
they are troubled with a burthensome stone, the ARK of 
God doth afflict them, send it away they would, but yet they 
are not agreed what to do with it; so we shall leave them to 
be guided by that wisdome, which governs all men and 
things, according to the counsel of his own will, and bring- 
eth his purpose to passe by whom and in whom he pleaseth. 
From the Servances and Messengers of the Lord whom he 
hath sent and brought by the arm of his power into these 
parts of the world, for which we suffer bonds and close 
imprisonment, none suffered to speake or confer with us, 
nor scarce to see us, being locked up in the inward prison, 
as the Gaoler pretends, because we do not deliver our Ink- 
horns, although he hath taken away three from us already, 
and will not suffer us to burn our own candles, but takes 
them away from us, because we shall not write in the night, 
though we are strangers to thee, and others in this place. 


yet seen and known in the light, yet known in the World 
by these Names. 

William Brend 

From the Common Gaol Thomas Thurston 

in Boston this 28 of the Christopher Holder 

seventh, 1656. John Copeland. 

Post. We and all the rest of friends with us remember 
their love to thee, and if thou hast freedome let us heare 
from thee. 

Barwick in the Narhyganset-Bay this present October 
6, 1656. 

The Superscription. 

To the Strangers, suffering imprisonment in Boston for 
the name of Christ, these with trust present in Massa 

Loving Friends, 

We have thankfully received your late and lov 
ing letters, but are informed that since the penning of them 
the Master of the Ship is ingaged with two of Boston bound 
with him, to set you ashore in England, so that we perceive 
God hath diverted our desired designe, we doubt not but for 
the best in a further discovery of that spirit so wickedly 
bent to hinder (if it were possible) the fruitful progress of 
the grace of the Gospel, and it may be, the name given unto 
you (we know not upon what ground) may come through in 
unalterable appointment, to be the naturall practice of such 
as so deal with you when the terrours of the Almighty shall 
take hold of them. 

Then follow some sixteen pages in which detailed refer 
ences to the Friends letter are made and general approval 


is given to the religious views expressed. Gorton con 
cludes : 

But I am afraid of being over tedious unto you, yet you 
may please to see my freedome again to salute you, by the 
multiplications of my lines, and the rather because I per 
ceive the ingagement for your return so speedily to England 
and know not whether we shall ever come to speak mouth 
to mouth, or find a way and opportunity again to write : I 
hope it will not be burthensome to you to peruse this, no 
more than it would be to me, to peruse a larger Epistle com 
ing from your selves. And so with my hearty respects unto 
you all, I cease to trouble you further at this time. 
Remaining yours, as you are Christ s, 

Samuel Gorton. 

This plan to obtain their release failed, as Captain Locke 
was placed under a bond to deliver them in England, and 
lacked the courage to disobey. The "Speedwell" sailed for 
England August 6th, 1656. She was not much larger than 
a modern smack, high-pooped, slow and uncomfortable, and 
of about sixty tons burden, yet she carried the little band to 
England where Christopher Holder and his five comrades at 
once began to devise some plan to return to America. 

Through the good offices of Gerard Rodgers, a Friend 
named Robert Fowler of Holderness was found who had 
just completed a vessel, and who agreed to undertake the 
dangerous experiment. The craft was named "The Wood- 
house" and she set sail on the 1st of April, 1657, with the 
following Quakers: Christopher Holder, William Brend, 
John Copeland, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Weatherhead, Dor 
othy Waugh, Robert Hodgson, Humphrey Norton, Rich 
ard Doudney, William Robinson and Mary Clark. The 


"Woodhouse" was a small coaster about the size of the 
Speedwell. Her crew consisted of three men and three 
boys, who had a hazy knowledge of navigation at best; yet 
she reached New Amsterdam (New York) in a little less 
than two months after sailing. 

In Devonshire House, London, may be seen the original 
log of this extraordinary voyage, countersigned by George 
Fox; extraordinary, as the ship was not sailed by compass, 
as the captain was not a navigator. He knew that America 
lay some three thousand miles to the west, and that it would 
take him about two months to beat over to it. What he 
lacked in knowledge of navigation he made up in faith. 
This lack of knowledge did not disturb the Friends. 

They were on a mission of the Lord, were in His hands. 
Every day they held a meeting and requested guidance, and 
from this source, Captain Fowler laid his course. On the 
fiftieth day the "Woodhouse" sailed into Long Island 
Sound. The following is a verbatim copy of this log: 

The Log of the "Woodhouse." 

"A true relation of the voyage undertaken by me, Robert 
Fowler, with my vessel the Woodhouse, but performed by 
the Lord like as he did Noah s ark wherein he shut up a few 
righteous persons and landed them safe even at the hill 

"Upon the first day of the fourth month, called June, re 
ceived I the Lord s servants aboard, who came with a migh 
ty hand and an outstretched arm with them; so that with 
courage we set sail, and came to the Downs the 2nd day, 
where our dearly beloved William Dewsbury, with Mich. 
Thompson, came aboard, and in them we were much re- 


freshed ; and, after recommending us to the grace of God, we 
launched forth. 

Again reason entered upon me, and thoughts arose in me 
to have gone to the Admiral, and have made complaint for 
the want of my servants, and for a convoy, from which 
thing I was withholden by that Hand which was my helper. 
Shortly after the south wind blew a little hard, so that it 
caused us to put in at Portsmouth, where I was furnished 
with a choice of men, according to one of the Captain s 
words to me, that I might have enough for money; but he 
said my vessel was so small, he would not go the voyage for 

Certain days we lay there, wherein the ministers of Christ 
were not idle, but went forth and gathered sticks, and 
kindled a fire, and left it burning; also several Friends came 
on board and visited us, in which we were refreshed. Again 
we launched from thence about the 1 1 th day of the Fourth 
Month, and were put back again into South Yarmouth, 
where we went ashore, and there in some measure did the 
like. Also we met with three pretty large ships which were 
for the Newfoundland, who did accompany us about fifty 
leagues, but might have done 300, if they had not feared 
the men-of-war; but for escaping them they took to the 
northward, and left us without hope of help as to the out 
ward; though before our parting it was showed to Humph 
rey Norton early in the morning, that they were nigh unto 
us that sought our lives, and he called unto me and told me ; 
but said, Thus saith the Lord, ye shall be carried away as 
in a mist; and presently we espied a great ship making up 
towards us, and the three great ships were much afraid, and 
tacked about with what speed they could; in the very in- 



terim the Lord God fulfilled his promise, and struck our 
enemies in the face with a contrary wind, wonderfully to 
our refreshment. Then upon our parting with these three 
ships we were brought to ask counsel of the Lord, and the 
word was from Him, Cut through and steer your straightest 
course, and mind nothing but me; unto which thing He 
much provoked us, and caused us to meet together every 
day, and He himself met with us, and manifested himself 
largely unto us, so that by storms we were not prevented 
(from meeting) above three times in all our voyage. The 
sea was my figure, for if anything got up within, the sea 
without rose up against me, and then the floods clapped 
their hands, of which in time I took notice, and told 
Humphrey Norton. Again, in a vision of the night, I saw 
some anchors swimming about the water, and something also 
of a ship which crossed our way, which in our meeting I 
saw fulfilled, for I myself, with others, had lost ours, so 
that for a little season the vessel run loose in a manner; 
which afterwards, by the wisdom of God, was recovered in 
to a better condition than before. 

Also upon the 25th day of the same month, in the morn 
ing, we saw another great ship making up towards us, which 
did appear, far off, to be a frigate, and make her sign for us 
to come to them, which unto me was a great cross, we being 
to windward of them ; and it was said, Go speak to him, the 
cross is sure; did I ever fail thee therein 1 ? And unto others 
there appeared no danger in it, so that we did ; and it proved 
a tradesman of London, by whom we writ back. Also it is 
very remarkable, when we have been five weeks at sea in a 
bark, wherein the power of darkness appeared in -the great 
est strength against us, having sailed but 300 leagues, 


Humphrey Norton, falling into communion with God, told 
me that he had received a comfortable answer ; and also that 
about such a day we should land in America, which was 
even so fulfilled. Also thus it was all the voyage with the 
faithful, who were carried far above storms and tempests, 
that when the ship went either to the right hand or to the 
left, their hands joined all as one, and did direct her way; 
so that we have seen and said, we see the Lord leading our 
vessel even as it were a man leading a horse by the head; 
we regarding neither latitude nor longitude, but kept to our 
Line, which was and is our Leader, Guide, and Rule, but 
they that did failed. 

Upon the last day of the Fifth Month, 1657, we made 
land. It was part of Long Island, far contrary to the ex 
pectations of the pilot; furthermore, our drawing had been 
all the passage to keep to the southwards, until the evening 
before we made land, and then the word was, There is a 
lion in the way; unto which we gave obedience and said, 
Let them steer northwards until the day following; and 
soon after the middle of the day there was a drawing to 
meet together before our usual time, and it was said, that 
we may look abroad in the evening; and as we sat waiting 
upon the Lord they discovered the land, and our mouths were 
opened in prayer and thanksgiving; and as our way was 
made, we made towards it, and espying a creek, our advice 
was to enter there, but the will of man (in the pilot) resist 
ed ; but in that state we had learned to be content, and told 
them both sides were safe, but that going that way would 
be more trouble to him; also he saw after he had laid by all 
night, the thing fulfilled. 

Now, to lay before you, in short, the largeness of the wis- 


dom, will and power of God. Thus, this creek led us between 
the Dutch Plantation and Long Island, where the movings 
of some Friends were unto, which otherwise would have 
been very difficult for them to have gotten to ; also the Lord 
that moved them brought them to the place appointed, and 
led us into our way, according to the word which came unto 
Christopher Holder, You are in the road to Long Island. 
In that creek came a shallop to meet us, taking us to be 
strangers, we making our way with our boat, and they spoke 
English, and informed us, and also guided us along. The 
power of the Lord fell much upon us, and an irresistible 
word came unto us, That the seed in America shall be as the 
sand of the sea; it was published in the ears of the brethren, 
which caused tears to break forth with fulness of joy; so 
that presently for these places some prepared themselves, 
who were Robert Hodgson, Richard Doudney, Sarah Gib 
bons, Mary Weatherhead, and Dorothy Waugh, who the 
next day were put safely ashore into the Dutch Plantation, 
called New Amsterdam. We came, and it being the First 
day of the week several came aboard to us, and we began 
our work. I was caused to go to the Governor, and Robert 
Hodgson with me he was moderate both in words and 

Robert and I had several days before seen in a vision the 
vessel in great danger; the day following this, it was ful 
filled, there being a passage betwixt two lands, which is call 
ed by the name of Hell-gate ; we lay very conveniently for 
a pilot, and unto that place we came, and into it were forc 
ed, and over it were carried, which I never heard of any 
before that were; (there were) rocks many on both sides, so 
that I believe one yard s length would have endangered loss 


of both vessel and goods. Also there was a shoal of fish 
which pursued our vessel, and followed her strangely, and 
close by our rudder; and in our meeting it was shown me, 
these fish are to be to thee a figure. Thus doth the prayers 
of the churches proceed to the Lord for thee and the rest. 
Surely in our meeting did the thing run through me as oil, 
and bid me much rejoice. 

Robert Fowler. 
Endorsed by George Fox, 
R. Fowler s Voyage, 1657." 



Of the eleven Friends who reached America in the 
"Woodhouse" in 1657, five decided to begin their labors in 
New York, or New Amsterdam, as it was then called, and 
two, Christopher Holder and John Copeland, feeling an un 
mistakable call from God to proceed to Boston, from which 
the former had been banished, landed at Martha s Vine 
yard. In one of John Copeland s letters, which has been 
preserved, he says, "I and Christopher Holder are going to 
Martha s Vineyard in obedience to the will of God which 
is our joy." They landed first at Providence, and preached 
at various towns; then on the i6th of June visited Martha s 
Vineyard which was then occupied by the Algonquin In 
dians. The Puritans had established a mission here, which 
according to the custom of the time, was a public "steeple- 
house." This was in charge of a minister named Mayhew. 
The two missionaries were now again in the enemy s 
country, from which they had been summarily banished but 
a year before, and were liable to arrest at any moment. 
Even the fisherman who transported them from the main 
land was in grave danger for aiding and abetting them. 
They attended the service of Mayhew, and when he had 
concluded Christopher Holder arose and addressed the meet 
ing, saying that they brought the Word as understood by the 
Friends, and were messengers bearing God s love to their 
brethren in America. The English Friend had not proceed- 


ed far, when, at the order of the minister, a constable seized 
him, and, thrusting him violently from the church, bade him 
remain there and cease his heretical language. But, believ 
ing that they were directly called, the missionaries refused, 
and joined the congregation in its afternoon meeting; when 
the clergyman had ended the service, they again attempted 
to speak, and had some controversy with the congregation 
on doctrinal points. They were not molested, but during 
the evening certain citizens entered a complaint against 
them, and the following morning the governor, with a con 
stable, called and demanded why they were there. The 
reply was because they were obeying the will of God. At 
this the governor laughed, and answered, "It is the will of 
God that you both leave today. I have provided a native 
to carry you across; pay him and go your way." 

But the missionaries were not to be discouraged ; they be 
lieved it was their duty to remain, so they refused to facilit 
ate their eviction by paying their fare to the Algonquin or to 
leave the island. Their refusal to go, and their perfect 
confidence in the position they had taken, dumfounded the 
governor, who, after expostulating with them, ordered the 
constable to search them and take the passage money by 
force. During the struggle the natives took sides with the 
two defenseless Quakers, and refused to be a party to their 
enforced departure. The governor was nonplused, and, 
as the weather was stormy, and none of the Puritans would 
put to sea with the Quakers, he left them where they stood, 
ordering that no one should give them shelter. 

He did not count on the Algonquins, as these intelligent 
natives invited the Quakers to their village, and entertained 
them with every kindness for three days; and when they 


took their departure finally, asking the Indians to transport 
them to the mainland, the latter refused the accept the 
slightest reward. The chief replied to Christopher Hold 
er s offer of money in a manner that showed that these rude 
natives were princes when hospitality was concerned. "We 
wish no pay," said the Algonquin; "you are strangers, and 
Jehovah has taught us to love strangers." "These poor 
people," says Sewell, the Dutch Historian, "acted more in 
unison with the spirit of Christianity than those who were 
wont to be their teachers, declining to receive their reward." 
The Algonquins landed Christopher Holder and his com 
panion on the mainland near Barnstable in safety, and they 
began the march across the barren country. In 1657 
Indians were almost the sole occupants of the forest, and 
between Martha s Vineyard and Plymouth there were but 
two English settlements Sandwich and Falmouth. The 
men must have had sublime faith, as there were no roads, 
no signs to direct the wayfarer; only a trackless forest. 
They knew the general direction, and, with blankets and 
the food provided by the Indians, they began the walk to 
Sandwich where they hoped to have a meeting. In due 
time they arrived, passing over the long stretches of sand 
dunes, finally reaching Sandwich. At this time the town 
was represented by a collection of log houses in one of which 
the wanderers found shelter, soon learning that religious in 
tolerance had created unrest in the town, and that some of 
the people were eager for the new word which they brought. 
Sewell says: "Their arrival at this place was hailed with 
feelings of satisfaction by many who were sincere seekers 
after heavenly riches, but who had long been burdened with 
a lifeless ministry and dead forms of religion." 


It will be remembered that these were the first school 
meetings held in New England by Quakers. The previous 
year Christopher Holder and his friends had indeed reached 
Boston, but they spent the eleven weeks in jail; hence Sand 
wich became the first field for the Friends in the Colonies of 
Plymouth and Massachusetts. 

The memory of Christopher Holder is still kept green by 
the descendants of his original converts. The meetings 
were held in the homes of those who were willing to have 
them. The people were eager for the word, and in a short 
time the efforts of the eloquent preacher were repaid by the 
accession of eighteen families to the ranks of the Friends. 
But Sandwich was no exception to the rule of intolerance 
which held in the colony at that period. Endicott and 
Norton had emissaries even here, who were familiar with 
the laws which had been enacted the preceding summer for 
the eviction or banishment of Christopher Holder and his 
companions, and when the rumor was circulated that two 
prominent English Quakers had arrived, and were preach 
ing, they were at once denounced and a constable was sent to 
arrest them. 

The Friends were holding a meeting in the home of a 
convert named Allen whose descendants still reside in 
Sandwich when some one warned them of the threatened 
danger. The house stood near some high, deeply-wooded 
hills, and to these the little congregation adjourned their 
meeting, that the services might continue, and that Christo 
pher Holder and his friend might escape arrest and conse 
quent indignities. Reaching the hilltop, they looked down 
into a deep and beautiful glen or hollow, which seemed to 
invite them to its leafy seclusion, and, pressing on, these 


earnest fugitives from religious intolerance made their way 
through the thicket and came to a level spot by the side of 
a little stream, beneath the blue sky, surrounded by masses 
of luxuriant verdure, Christopher Holder and his young 
friend, John Copeland, conducted a meeting which so im 
pressed these converts that to this day, two hundred and 
fifty-seven years later, his personality clings to the spot, 
which is known all through Barns table county and New 
England, as "Christopher s Hollow." 

The attention of the author was first called to this fact 
some years ago by the late Emily Holder Howe, then resid 
ing in Boston, a descendant of Christopher Holder, who 
sent the following version, written by a resident of Sand 

"About a mile southwesterly from Spring Hill village is 
a deep sequestered glen or hollow in the wood. No spot 
in the county of Barnstable is more secluded or lovely. The 
quiet glen is surrounded by a ridge of hills, covered in part 
by trees, and is some one hundred and twenty-five feet deep. 
In the spring and summer a small stream of water runs in 
this glen, which keeps up a perpetual murmur. For over 
two centuries this lovely spot has been called Christopher s 
Hollow, in memory of Christopher Holder. On an Aug 
ust day in 1657, after the severe penal act of the provincial 
legislature had passed, a small, sincere band of worshippers 
met at Allen s house, Spring Hill, but immediately adjourned 
to the hollow to offer up devout supplication to Him 
who is no respecter of persons. Those who visit this place 
will notice on the westerly side a row of flat stones, which 
are believed to have been the seats upon which this meager 
congregation sat and listened to the heartfelt teachings of 
Christopher Holder, a sincere and upright man." 


On the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Sandwich 
1639-1889 a poem was written and read by Miss Mary 
A. D. Conroy, of Roxbury, in which Christopher s Hollow 
is referred to. Some of the lines are as follows : 

"Their meeting place a sylvan glen, 
Environed by protecting trees. 
Here, far removed from curious eyes, 
Their God they worshipped silently. 
Their choir the myriad song birds were; 

Their hassocks stones; the mossy sward 
Beneath their feet their carpet was. 
An azure ceil, the sky above. 
No temple made by mortal hands 
Could rival this in loveliness." 

To Sandwich belongs the honor of being what may be 
termed the pioneer Quaker town in America. Here events 
rapidly occurred which were especially epoch-making. 
Here, Christopher Holder and John Copeland, of Holder- 
ness, formed the first Society of Friends on this continent, 
established the first meeting, received the first welcome and 
planted the first seed from which sprang one of the most 
remarkable religious organizations in America remarkable 
not for its spectacular features or for its pretentious 
doctrines, but for its purity, its absolute disinterestedness 
and its near approach to that highest standard of moral per 
fection expressed by the life and teaching of the founder of 
the Christian religion. 

That Governor Endicott and the Puritan priests 
Norton and others of Boston intended to create a virtual 


reign of terror in the ranks of the people they derisively 
termed Quakers, there is no possible question. To accomp 
lish this they appointed officials in every town to watch for 
them; hence the meetings in Sandwich could not be con 
cealed, nor was it the desire of Christopher Holder to preach 
in secret. He boldly proclaimed his mission. Norton, in 
his "Ensign," says, "Great was the stir and noise of the 
tumultuous town," "Yea, all in an uproar, hearing that 
we, who were called by such a name as Quakers, were come 
into these parts. A great fire was kindled, and the hearts 
of many did burn within them, so that in the heat some said 
one thing, and some another, but the most part knew not 
what was the matter." 

So great was the agitation among the Puritan settlers that 
the two ministers took up their packs and began the march 
over the then almost trackless country to Plymouth, where 
they announced their coming by rising in the "ordinary" or 
public church, after the service and preaching. Some of 
the Puritans endeavored to stop them; others were inclined 
to argue and dispute, while many were desirous of hearing 
them. But the priests led the clamor so successfully that 
the authorities ordered them to leave the colony of Ply 
mouth. A large and threatening crowd gathered, but the 
Friends informed them that they could not leave the colony 
until they had made another visit to Sandwich; in a word, 
refused to go and demanded the nature of the charges 
against them. The constable allowed them to pass to their 
lodgings unmolested, but their enemies held a meeting at 
night, and on the following morning the ministers were ar 
rested and taken before the magistrates and questioned. 
But the authorities could find no reasonable excuse for com- 


mitting them to prison, and so compromised by discharging 
them and ordered them "to begone out of their colony;" a 
mandate the Friends refused to obey. 

They left Plymouth, but turned in the direction of Sand 
wich, a fact that was soon reported by some who followed, 
and a constable was sent after them, who forced them to 
walk six miles or more in the direction of Rhode Island and 
then left them, whereupon the ministers turned soon after 
and walked to Sandwich to complete their labors. Their 
re-appearance, and the fact that they had made many con 
verts, roused the priests, and they demanded that the Quakers 
be arrested. This was carried out, and in a few days 
they were again taken before the magistrate at Plymouth, 
charged with being "ranters and dangerous persons." 

This time the governor of Plymouth examined them in 
person, and again "no infraction of the law was found 
against them;" yet, to silence the clamor aroused by the 
Puritan priests, they were ordered to leave the colony. 
Sewell says: "It appears that the gospel ministry had been 
instrumental in convincing many at this place of the prin 
ciples of Friends, a circumstance which increased the alarm 
of the priests, who now exerted their utmost to procure their 
banishment. The urgent appeal was effective, and the gov 
ernor, to satisfy them, issued a warrant for the arrest of 
Christopher Holder and John Copeland as extravagant per 
sons and vagabonds, to be brought before him at Ply 
mouth." It is at this time that we observe the first inter 
vention of Friends, and here began the series of outrages 
against sympathizers with the Quakers that constitutes so 
black a page in New England history. Some of the meet 
ings at Sandwich had been held at the home of William 


Newland, a zealous convert. Between him and the har 
assed ministers there had sprung up a warm and devoted 
friendship, and when the latter were arrested and were ap 
parently to be condemned without a hearing, William New- 
land sprang to his feet in the crowded court room and in 
sisted that Christopher Holder s demand for a copy of the 
warrant under which they were deprived of their liberty 
should be complied with, protesting that it was illegal and 
an outrage against justice not to accede to his request. The 
governor was indignant at this bold partisanship, and forth 
with fined the brave Newland ten shillings and severely re 
buked him. 

Christopher Holder and his friend were now arraigned 
before the court of Plymouth, the priests appearing against 
them, and again the magistrates informed them that there 
was a law forbidding them to remain in the colony. To 
this Christopher Holder replied that, "being in the Lord s 
service, he could not promise to leave." Highly incensed, 
the officers issued a warrant for their expulsion, and told 
them that if they returned again they would be whipped as 
vagabonds." The following is a copy of this warrant, tak 
en from the colonial records, dated at Plymouth, August 
31, 1657: 

"To the Under-Marshal of the Jurisdiction of Plymouth, 
"Whereas, there hath been two extravagant persons, pro 
fessing themselves Quakers, at the town of Plymouth, who, 
according to order, may not be permitted to abide within 
the liberty of this jurisdiction. These are therefore in the 
name of his business, the Lord Proctector of England, Scot 
land, and Ireland, to will and command you forthwith, on 
receipt hereof, to convey the said persons, viz., Christopher 


Holder and John Copeland, unto the utmost bounds of our 
Jurisdiction. Whereof fail not at your peril." 

In accordance with this, the under-marshal marched them 
five miles in the direction of Rhode Island, and left them in 
the forest, without food or shelter. Rhode Island at this 
early time afforded refuge to the oppressed, and the two 
men were welcomed in that colony. 

Holder has been criticised by some historians, who have 
attempted to defend Endicott and the inquisitors of the 
time, who have said that to enter the churches of the Puri 
tans, and address the congregations and endeavor to make 
converts, was little less than an outrage, and was sufficient 
reason for the outbreaks against the Quakers. These writ 
ers are, to say the least, ignorant of the methods and customs 
of the day. After the service of the priest, anyone was al 
lowed to speak, and Christopher Holder merely took ad 
vantage of this custom. John Cotton, a Puritan pastor of 
Boston, thus described the degree of liberty allowed in 1657, 
as quoted by Bow den: "When there be more prophets as 
pastors and teachers they may prophesy two or three, and if 
the time permit the elders may call any other of the breth 
ren, whether of the same church, or any other, to speak a 
word of exhortation to the people, and for the better edify 
ing of a man s self, or others, it may be lawful for any 
(young or old) save any women to ask questions at the 
mouth of the prophets." 

In 1643 the following declaration of the faith and order 
of the Baptist and Congregational churches was issued, 
which bears upon the point at issue : 

"Although it is incumbent upon the pastors and teachers 
of the churches to be instant in preaching the word, by way 


of office ; yet the work of preaching the word is not so pecul 
iarly confined to them, but that others also gifted and filled 
by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved, being by lawful 
ways and means in the providence of God called thereto 
may, quickly, ordinarily and constantly perform it, so that 
they give themselvees up thereto." 

Robert Barclay states that the English Independents 
"also go so far as to affirm that any gifted brother, as they 
call them, if he finds himself qualified thereto, may instruct, 
exhort and preach in the church." Cromwell, in 1650, 
threw open the pulpits of the rigid Presbyterian Church to 
"all intruders/ and, when protest was made, he replied: 
"We look upon ministers as helpers of, not lords over, the 
faith of God s people. Where do you find in Scripture that 
preaching is exclusively your functions? Are you troubled 
that Christ is preached*? Doth it scandalize you, the re 
formed churches and Scotland in particular? Is it against 
the Covenant? Away with the Covenant, if it be so! I 
thought the Covenant and these men would have been 
willing that any should speak good of the name of Christ; 
if not, it is no covenant of God s approving, nor the kirk you 
mention, the spouse of Christ." (Cromwell s Letters and 
Speeches, by Thomas Carlyle, Vol. I, p. 61.) It is on 
record that, in 1656, Dr. Gunning, afterward regius profes 
sor of Divinity at Cambridge and bishop of Ely, went into 
the congregation of John Biddle, the father of English Uni 
tarians, and began a dispute with him. George Fox was a 
frequent visitor at the "steeplehouse." On very rare occa 
sions he imitated the example of the bishop, but it was his 
custom to wait quietly until the minister had ended, when 
he would often be invited to speak. 


From this it will be seen that it was a custom of the time 
for any gifted man to rise and preach in a "steeplehouse" 
after the regular service had ended, and Christopher Holder 
was but following an established precedent when he entered 
the public places of worship in Plymouth and Massachusetts 
colony and preached to the people upon the completion of 
the service. 

There is no reliable evidence in Colonial History that any 
Friend ever made an attempt to disturb a Puritan meeting 
in a riotous fashion. It was the strong undercurrent of re 
ligious intolerance which cropped out among the Puritans 
at the slightest innovation in religious forms and belief, that 
caused the trouble. The Puritans are popularly supposed 
to have come to America to enjoy "religious liberty," but 
they absolutely refused others participation in the divine 
right. Bow den says: "A strong and deep conviction was 
vested in their (Friends) minds that the prevailing religious 
systems were essentially opposed to the pure and spiritual 
religion of Christ. They were not less fully persuaded of 
this, nor, it may be added, on less substantial grounds, than 
John Huss, or Martin Luther was of the anti-Christian char 
acter of the Romish church. They believed themselves called 
upon to testify, in the name of the Lord. against a system 
which contained so woful an admixture of human inven 

This is referred to, that the remarkable persistence of 
these ministers in returning to the fields from which they 
had been driven may be understood; briefly, they exempli 
fied the highest type of missionary fervor, and sacrificed 
themselves on the altar of their convictions, acts which, it 


may be said, were not peculiar to Friends at this and prev 
ious periods. 

The colony of Rhode Island, from the very first disting 
uished for its tolerance, afforded a literal haven for the 
hunted Quakers in the following days. Christopher Holder 
and John Copeland made many converts in Sandwich and 
Plymouth, and were spreading the Word in the colony of 
Rhode Island so rapidly that the priests and rulers in Bos 
ton became alarmed, and so worked upon the superstitious 
fears of Governor Endicott that he entered a vigorous 

So thoroughly had the doctrine of the Friends been dis 
seminated that liberal Puritans were joining their ranks 
everywhere, and even as early as August, 1657, the Friends 
constituted a "party," small and insignificant numerically, 
strong in fearlessness and faith, opposed to which were those 
fighting for the ascendancy of Puritan orthodoxy. On one 
side was Governor Endicott, the priests, magistrates and 
authorities; on the other, Christopher Holder, John Cope- 
land, who believed they were called to a duty from which 
there was no turning. Legions they had none ; their human 
support, their converts, and a few Friends in Plymouth and 
Sandwich. But, as these leaders moved on, converts seem 
to have sprung up in their path like wheat after the sower, 
and as the missionaries announced their intention of going 
to Boston, it is not surprising that the report caused no small 
degree of alarm and excitement. Bowden says : "In their 
(Puritan) estimation it was an evil of such magnitude, and 
so fraught with danger to the true interests of that religion 
for which they and their forefathers had suffered, as to re 
quire counteracting measures of a very decided character." 


This took the form of a movement to compel the colony of 
Rhode Island to join with Massachusetts in driving out 
Holder and Copeland, and, on September 12, 1657, the 
commissioners of the United Colonies addressed the follow 
ing letter to the governor of Rhode Island : 

"Gentlemen: We suppose you have understood that the 
last year a company of Quakers arrived in Boston, upon no 
other account than to disperse their pernicious opinions, had 
they not been prevented by the prudent care of the govern 
ment, who, by that experience they had of them, being sen 
sible of the danger that might befall the Christian religion 
here professed, by suffering such to be received or continued 
in the country, presented the same unto the Commissioners 
at the meeting in Plymouth; who, upon that occasion, com 
mended it to the general courts of the United Colonies, that 
all Quakers, Ranters, and such notorious heretics, might be 
prohibited coming among us; and that if such should arise 
amongst ourselves, speedy care might be taken to remove 
them; (and as we are informed) the several jurisdictions 
have made provisions accordingly; but it is by experience 
found that means will fall short without further care by 
reason of your admission and receiving such, from whence 
they may have opportunity to create in amongst us, or means 
to infuse and spread their accursed tenets to the great trouble 
of the colonies, if not to the . . . professed in them; 
notwithstanding any care that hath been hitherto taken to 
prevent the same; whereof we cannot but be very sensible 
and think no care too great to preserve us from such a pest, 
the contagion whereof (if received) within your colony, 
were dangerous to be diffused to the others by means of the 
intercourse, especially to the places of trade amongst us; 


which we desire may be with safety continued between us; 
we therefore make it our request, that you and the rest of the 
colonies, take such order herein that your neighbors may be 
freed from that danger. That you remove these Quakers 
that have been received, and for the future prohibit their 
coming amongst you; whereunto the rule of charity unto 
yourselves and us (we conceive) doth oblige you; wherein 
if you should we hope you will not be wanting ; yet we could 
not but signify this our desire; and further declare, that we 
apprehend that it will be our duty seriously to consider, 
what provision God may call us to make to prevent the 
aforesaid mischief; and further for our further guidance and 
direction herein, we desire you to impart your mind and 
resolution to the General Court of Massachusetts, which as- 
sembleth the i/j-th of October next. We have not further 
to trouble you at present, but to assure you we desire to con 
tinue your loving friends and neighbors the Commissioners 
of the United Colonies. 
"Boston, September 12th, 1657." 

This letter was submitted by the governor of Rhode 
Island to the Court of Trials, held at Providence, August 
15th following, and the reply is a credit to the intelligence 
and discernment of the followers of Roger Williams and the 
people of Rhode Island. The colony refused point blank 
to be a party with Endicott to the abridgement of the relig 
ious liberty of any citizen. The law of their colony was 
"that none be accounted a delinquent for doctrine" (Enact 
ment of 1641), and that "they had resolved that no settler 
or stranger within the limits of their jurisdiction should be 
persecuted for whatever opinions of religion he might either 
hold or teach." This was the tenor of their immediate 


verbal reply to Endicott s messenger. The official and 
well-written answer was not given until January, 1658, a 
reproof in itself. The reply is as follows: 

"From the General Assembly to the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies. 

"Honoured Gentlemen, There hath been presented to 
our view, by our honoured president, a letter bearing date 
September 25th last, subscribed by the honoured gentlemen, 
Commissioners of the United Colonies, concerning a com 
pany of people (lately arrived in these parts of the world), 
commonly known by the name of Quakers; who are gener 
ally conceived pernicious, either intentionally, or at least 
wise in effect, even to the corrupting of good manners, and 
disturbing the common peace, and societies, of the places 
where they arise or resort unto, &c. 

"Now, whereas freedom of different consciences, to be 
protected from enforcements was the principal ground of our 
charter, both with respect to our humble suit for it, as also 
the true intent of the honourable and renowned Parliament 
of England, in granting the same unto us; which freedom 
we still prize as the greatest happiness that men can possess 
in this world ; therefore, we shall, for the preservation of our 
civil peace and order, the more seriously take notice that 
these people, and any other that are here, or shall come 
among us, be impartially required, and to our utmost con 
strained to perform all duties requisite towards the main 
taining the dignity of his highness, and the government of 
that most renowned Commonwealth of England, in this 
colony; which is most happily included under the same 
dominions and we are so graciously taken into protection 
thereof. And in case they, the said people, called Quakers, 


which are here, or shall arise, or come among us, do refuse to 
submit to the doing of all duties aforesaid, as training, 
watching, and such other engagements as are upon members 
of civil societies, for the preservation of the same in justice 
and peace; then we determine, yea, and we resolve (how 
ever) to take and make use of the first opportunity to inform 
our agent residing in England, that he may humbly present 
the matter (as touching the considerations premised, con 
cerning the aforesaid people called Quakers), unto the su 
preme authority of England, humbly craving their advice 
and order, how to carry ourselves in any further respect to 
wards those people that therewithal there may be no dam 
age, or infringement of that chief principle in our charter 
concerning freedom of conscience. And we also are so 
much the more encouraged to make our addresses unto the 
Lord Protector, for highness and government aforesaid, for 
that we understand there are, or have been, many of the 
aforesaid people suffered to live in England; yea, even in 
the heart of the nation. And thus with our truly thankful 
acknowledgements of the honourable care of the honoured 
gentlemen, Commissioners of the United Colonies, for the 
peace and welfare of the whole country, as is expressed in 
their most friendly letter, we shall at present take leave and 
rest. Yours, most affectionately desirous of your honors 

and welfare, 

"John Sandford, 

"Clerk of the Assembly." 

"From the General Assembly of the Colony of Providence 

"To the much honoured John Endicott, Governor of 
Massachusetts. To be also imparted to the honoured Com- 


missioners of the United Colonies at their next meeting; 

The General Assembly of Rhode Island, feeling that it 
was being criticised for extending toleration to the Quakers, 
considered it advisable to acquaint their representatives in 
England with the situation, and the following is an extract 
from the letter: 

"The last year we had laden you with much employment, 
which we were then put upon, by reason of some too re 
fractory among ourselves; wherein we appealed unto you 
for advice, for the more public manifestation of it with re 
spect to our superiors. But our intelligence it seems fell 
short, in the great loss of the ship, which is conceived here 
to be cast away. We have now a new occasion, given by an 
old spirit, because of a sort of people, called by the name of 
Quakers, who are come amongst us, and have raised up div 
ers, who seem at present to be of their spirit, whereat the 
colonies about us seem to be offended with us, because the 
said people have their liberty amongst us, as are entertained 
into our houses, or into our assemblies. And for the pres 
ent, we have no just cause to charge them with the breach 
of the civil peace; only they are constantly going forth 
among them about us, and vex and trouble them in point of 
their religion and spiritual state, though they return with 
many a foul scar on their bodies for the same. And the of 
fense our neighbors take against us is, because we take not 
some course against the said people, either to expel them 
from among us, or take such courses against them as they 
themselves do, who are in fear lest their religion should be 
corrupted by them. Concerning which displeasure that 
they seem to take it was expressed to us in a solemn letter, 


written by the Commissioners of the United Colonies at their 
sitting, as though they would bring us in to act according to 
their scantling or else take some course to do us greater dis 
pleasure. A copy of which letter we have herewith sent 
unto you, wherein you may perceive how they express them 
selves. As also we have herewith sent our present answer 
unto them, to give you what light we may in this matter. 
There is one clause in their letter, which plainly implies a 
threat, though covertly expressed: 

"Sir, this is our earnest and present request unto you in 
this matter, as you may perceive in our answer to the United 
Colonies, that we fly, as to our refuge in all civil respects, to 
his highness, and honourable council, as not being subject 
to any others in matter of our civil state; so may it please 
you to have an eye and ear open in case our adversaries 
should seek to undermine us in our privileges granted unto 
us, and to plead our case in such sort as we may not be com 
pelled to exercise any civil power over men s conscience, so 
long as human order, in point of civility, are not corrupted 
and violated, which our neighbors about us do frequently 
practice, whereof many of us have large experience, and do 
judge it to be no less than a point of absolute cruelty." 

The labors of Christopher Holder at this time were the 
cause of much excitement, and as he moved northward this 
increased, culminating in acts which disgrace the pages of 
Colonial history. It would appear that, in passing from 
Sandwich, Holder and Copeland held services and made 
converts in all the towns Plymouth, Duxbury, Mansfield, 
Dedham, Charleston, Cambridge and Lynn and about the 
15th of July they reached Salem. Christopher Holder was 
invited to make his home during his visit at the house of 


Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, an act of hospitality 
which ultimately caused the death of these sincere Friends in 
their banishment to Shelter Island. 

The two missionaries held a series of meetings and made 
many converts in Salem. From Norton s "Ensign" this 
joint reference is made to their ministry here: "Having 
obtained mercy from God and being baptized in his coven 
ant Jesus Christ, we (Christopher Holder and John Cope- 
land) preached freely unto them the things we had seen and 
heard, and our hands had handled, which as an engrafted 
word took place in them, such as never can be routed out, so 
that our hearers in a short time became our fellow sufferers." 
On the 2 1st of July, 1657, Christopher Holder entered the 
First Church of Salem, which it is supposed by some, now 
stands in the rear of Essex Institute. Holder listened to the 
sermon, and when the priest had concluded and the time had 
arrived for laymen to speak, if they so desired, he rose and 
addressed the congregation. His fame had preceded him, 
and many desired to hear him; but Salem was the home of 
Governor Endicott, the hot-bed of irrationalism, and the 
priest uttered so vigorous a protest that his partisans were 
aroused to "much fury," and as Holder disregarded the in 
terruptions and continued, one of the commissioners sprang 
forward, seized him by the hair and jerked him violently 
backward, at the same time attempting to force a handker 
chief or a glove into his mouth.* 

*What Christopher Holder said history has not preserved, but on 
a similar occasion in England, George Fox entered a church, sat down 
and listened. The rector announced his text: "Ho, Everyone that 
thirsteth, come ye, buy without money and without price." This was 
too much for the militant Fox; rising he cried out, "Come down, thou 
deceiver! Dost thou bid people to come to the waters of life freely 
and without price and yet thou takest three hundred pounds a year 
from them?" 


This sudden and cowardly attack from behind aroused in 
tense excitement. The members of the congregation started 
to their feet, some protesting, others encouraging the com 
missioner, who dragged the unresisting Quaker toward the 
door, still endeavoring to choke him. Believing that Holder 
was in danger of his life, one man braved public senti 
ment and barred the way, tearing the commissioner s arm 
from the minister s throat, and vigorously protested against 
the injustice of the "furious" action of the commissioner 
against a defenseless man. This was Samuel Shattuck, of 
Salem, whose descendants still live there, and who are by 
marriage connected with the descendants of Christopher 
Holder in the present century. This incident is dwelt upon 
by all contemporary and later writers Norton, Bishop, 
Sewell, Bowden, Whittier and others, hence has attained 
historical significance, and was the beginning of a series of 
outrages which disgraced New England during the follow 
ing years. So intense was the feeling aroused against Sam 
uel Shattuck for attempting to defend Christopher Holder 
that he was arrested at once, on the charge of being "a friend 
to the Quakers." Holder was also arrested, and the fol 
lowing day they were sent to Boston. They were examined 
separately, Bellingham, deputy governor, and Rawson, 
Endicott s secretary, examining Holder, while the elder and 
deacon of the place examined Shattuck, hoping to detect 
them making different statements. "But," wrote the pris 
oners, "we, abiding in the truth, spake one thing, so that they 
had no advantage against us, neither could take hold of any 
thing we had spoken." 

Bellingham, disappointed at not tripping them, said 
"that their answers were elusive, and that the devil had 


taught them a deal of subtil ty." Christopher Holder and 
John Copeland were now brought before Governor Endi- 
cott, and, after the farce of a trial had been undergone, they 
were sentenced according to the laws which had been passed 
for their benefit the previous year, to "receive thirty lashes." 
The sentence was carried out on Boston Common, the public 
executioner being the agent. The prisoners backs were 
bared and their arms bound to a post. The executioner, in 
the language of Bishop, used a three-corded knotted 
whip, and to make sure of his blows, measured his ground 
"and fetched his blows with all his might." Thirty stripes 
were given, until the backs of the men were cut and stream 
ing with blood that made them horrible spectacles, yet not a 
groan or word of reproach came from their lips. So terrible 
was the punishment inflicted that the spectators were hor 
rified, and one woman, according to Sewell, "fell as dead." 
"Torn and lacerated," says Bowden, "they were conveyed 
to their prison cell. Here, without any bedding, or even 
straw, to lie upon, the inhuman gaoler kept them for three 
days, without food or drink, and in this dismal abode, often 
exposed to damp and cold, were these faithful men confined 
for the space of nine weeks." "We may wonder," contin 
ues Bowden, "that under such aggravated cruelties their 
lives were spared, but He for whose holy cause they thus 
suffered was near at hand to support and console them. His 
ancient promise was fulfilled in their experience, and they 
rejoiced in the comforting assurance of His living power." 
Such were the conditions of religious liberty in Boston 
two hundred and forty-five years ago. Samuel Shattuck 
was imprisoned, but was finally released on giving a bond 
of twenty pounds to answer the charge, "and not to assemble 


with any of the people called Quakers at their meetings." 
We next hear of him as a convert to the doctrine of the 
Friends, and he became a staunch friend of Christopher 
Holder. I found his grave in the Salem, Charter Street, 
burying ground, and upon the ancient, half-buried headstone 
is the following inscription, which I copied from the records 
of inscriptions in the Boston Library: 

"Here lyeth buried ye body of Samuel Shattuck aged 69 
years, who departed this life in ye sixth day of June 1689. 
He was present at ye Friends meeting when Christopher 
Holder attempted to speak, and he endeavored to prevent 
their thrusting a handkerchief into Holder s mouth lest it 
should have choken him, for which attack he was carried 
to Boston and imprisoned until he had given bond to answer 
at the next court and not to come to any Quaker meetings." 

Alarmed at the rapid increase among the Friends, the 
priests and others went to the greatest extremes to arouse 
public prejudice against the prisoners. They endeavored to 
inflame the public by stating that Christopher Holder and 
his friend were possessed with devils, and the most exagger 
ated stories were related by talebearers and gossipmongers 
of the city, much to their discredit, resulting in arousing the 
masses against them. Bowden says : "The distorted views 
of Quaker tenets, which were industriously circulated 
throughout New England in justification of the cruelties 
practiced, could scarcely fail to produce such a result. In 
the American colonies, as well as in England, calumny and 
misrepresentation were too generally favorite weapons of the 
enemies of the Society." 

While lying almost helpless in jail, Christopher Holder 
replied to the charges of the enemies of Friends in a docu- 


ment* that, in its dignified language and its fervor and 
spirit, takes place as the most prominent document issued in 
America up to this time. It was the religious declaration of 
independence of America, and, singularly enough, recalls 
the famous political document issued in 1776. Bowden 
says: "The document issued, an imperfect copy of which 
has been preserved, is rendered the more interesting as being, 
it is believed, the first written exposition of the doctrinal 
views of the Society, and containing, as it does, clear evi 
dence of the soundness of the views of our early Friends, it 
is additionally valuable." 

Richard Doudney s name appears on this document. He 
had left his companions in New Amsterdam, and had decid 
ed to join Copeland and Holder, and had reached Dedham 
when he was apprehended as a Quaker, sent under guard to 
Boston, and thrown into jail with them; and so became a 
signer to the first declaration of faith, either in England or 
America. The declaration is as follows: 


And an exhortation to Obedience thereto, issued by 
Christopher Holder, John Copeland and Richard Doudney, 
while in prison at Boston in New England, 1657. 

"Whereas, it is reported by them that have not a bridle 
to their tongues, that we, who are by the world called Quak- 

*As the original Declaration of the Society of Friends (the first in 
New England being dated 1657) this is a most interesting and valuable 
historical document. The author regrets that all efforts to obtain the 
original have failed. The latter document in some way found its way 
into the hands of a distant relative of Goold Brown, of Lynn, whose 
ancestors were Friends of Pembroke, Plymouth Co., Mass., and 
through him a copy reached Bowden, the historian, to whom the 
author is indebted. 


ers, are blasphemers, heretics, and deceivers; therefore, we, 
who are here in prison, shall in a few words, in truth and 
plainness, declare unto all people that may see this, the 
ground of our religion, and the faith that we contend for, 
and the cause wherefor we suffer. 

"Therefore, when you read our words, let the meek spirit 
bear rule, and weigh them in the balance equal, and stand 
out of prejudice, in the light that judge th all things, and 
measureth and manifesteth all things. 

"As (for us) we do believe in the only true and living God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath made the 
heavens and the earth, the sea and all things in them con 
tained, and doth uphold all things that he hath created by 
the word of his power. Who, at sundry times, and in divers 
manners, spake in times past to our fathers, by the prophets, 
but in these last days he hath spoken by his Son, whom he 
hath made heir of all things, by whom he made the world. 
The which Son is that Jesus Christ that was born of the 
Virgin; who suffered for our offenses, and is risen again for 
our justification, and is ascended into the highest heavens, 
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father. Even in 
him do we believe; who is the only begotten Son of the 
Father, full of grace and truth. And in him do we trust 
alone for salvation ; by whose blood we are washed from sin ; 
through whom we have access to the Father with boldness, 
being justified by faith believing in his name. Who hath 
sent forth the Holy Ghost, to wit, the Spirit of Truth, that 
proceedeth from the Father and the Son; by which we are 
sealed and adopted sons and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. 
From the which spirit, the Scriptures of truth were given 
forth, as, saith the Apostle Peter, Holy men of God 


spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The which 
were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the 
world are come; and are profitable for the man of God, to 
reprove, and to exhort, and to admonish, as the Spirit of 
God bringeth them unto him, and openeth them in him, and 
giveth him the understanding of them. 

"So that before all (men) we do declare that we do be 
lieve in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according as 
they are (declared of in the) Scriptures; and the Scriptures 
own to be a true declaration of the Father, Son and Spirit; 
in (which) is declared what was in the beginning, what was 
present, and was to come. 

"Therefore, all (ye) people in whom honesty is, stand 
still and consider. Believe not them who say, Report, and 
we will report it that say, Come, let us smite them with 
the tongue; but try all things and hold fast that which is 
good. Again we say, take heed of believing and giving 
credit to reports; for know that the truth in all ages of the 
world, hated, persecuted, and imprisoned, under the name of 
heretics, blasphemers, and" 

(Here part of the paper is torn off, and it can only be 
known, by an unintelligible shred, that fourteen lines are 
lost. We read again as follows:) 

"that showeth you the secrets of your hearts, and the deeds 
that are not good. Therefore, while you have light, believe 
in the light, that ye may be children of light; for, as you 
love it and obey it, it will lead to repentance, bring you 
to know Him in whom is remission of sins, in whom God is 
well pleased; who will give you an entrance into the king 
dom of God, an inheritance amongst them that are sancti 
fied. For this is the desire of our souls for all that have the 


least breathings after God, that they may come to know 
Him in deed and in truth, and find his power in and with 
them to keep them from falling, and to present them fault 
less before the throne of his glory; who is the strength and 
life of all them that put their trust in Him ; who upholdeth 
all things by the word of his power; who is God over all, 
blessed for ever. Amen. 

"Thus we remain friends to all that fear the Lord; who 
are sufferers, not for evi] doing, but for bearing testimony to 
the truth, in obedience to the Lord God of life; unto whom 
we commit our cause who is risen to plead the cause of the 
innocent, and to help him that hath no help on the earth; 
who will be avenged on all his enemies, and will repay the 
proud doers. 

"Christopher Holder, 
"John Copeland, 
"Richard Doudney. 

"From the House of Correction the 1st of the Eighth 
Month, 1657, in Boston." 

The Puritans wasted no sympthy on the Quaker men or 
women. When Mary Clark reached Boston in 1657 she was 
arrested, stripped of her clothing and given "twenty strokes 
with a three-corded whip laid on with fury," after which 
she was kept in a cold, damp cell for three months. Rich 
ard Doudney, one of the "Woodhouse" passengers, was sent 
from Dedham to Boston and given thirty lashes to remind 
him that Quakers were not welcome. Humphrey Norton 
demanded an examination, which was given him, and he 
so cleverly stated his case and that of the Quakers that, not 
withstanding the bias of Endicott, the magistrates found 
him guilty of no crime, so they compromised by banishing 


him, an officer marching him fifty miles in the direction of 
Rhode Island, where he found John Copeland and Sarah 

A party now came from the Barbados, including John 
Rous, the son of an officer of the army, William Leddra and 
Thomas Harris. Humphrey Norton was a prisoner in New 
Haven, and was gagged in court with a large iron key when 
he attempted to explain his case. After a trial of many 
days he was found guilty of being a Quaker and sentenced 
to be first given thirty-six stripes, stripped in the stocks, 
which he bore with such courage that a mob threatened to 
interfere and the officers looked at the Quaker with amaze 
ment and some with fear, as while he was covered with 
blood and cut with deep gashes, he made no complaint, tell 
ing the jailer that "his body was as if it had been covered 
with balm." After this, they fastened his hands in the 
stocks and denouncing him as a heretic, branded him with 
the letter H, the victim in the meantime praying for his ac 
cusers. They now offered to free him, if he would pay the 
expenses of his arrest; but Norton refused, saying that if it 
were but two pence, he would not pay it, nor would he allow 
anyone else to do so, as he was an innocent man, and had 
committed no crime. Norton was finally banished and 
went to Rhode Island to report the first persecution of 
Friends in Connecticut. John Rous and Norton then went 
to Plymouth and began to preach, but were at once thrown 
into prison, and later flogged like convicts. This treatment 
did not deter others, in fact it seemed to encourage them to 
greater endeavor, and soon Wiliam Brend, Mary Dyer and 
Mary Weatherhead entered New Haven, only to be forced 
out at the point of the pike. 


John Rous and John Copeland now visited New Haven 
and sought out the Governor, John Winthrop, and attempted 
to discuss the question with him. As a result, Connecti 
cut, Massachusetts, Plymouth and New Haven, the princi : 
pal colonies, joined in a pact to fight the Quakers, making a 
common cause of the invasion. 

In 1658, William Leddra and Thomas Harris walked to 
the colony of Connecticut, while Sarah Gibbons and Dor 
othy Waugh proceeded to Massachusetts, walking every 
step, through what was then an Indian-infested wilderness, 
without trail or road. So it will be seen that by some ar 
rangement the Quakers were continually invading the closed 
colonies. When one set or pair were banished, another 
presently took its place, covering the ground as completely 
as they could. Thomas Harris was being starved in Bos 
ton jail. On the sixth day he was given twenty strokes with 
a tarred rope and discharged. This punishment, with such 
variety as the jailer could invent, was given to every Quaker 
arrested or found in the colony. William Brend, an aged 
man, was given horrible treatment, repeated beatings, 
which were given also to Norton, Rous, Leddra and Harris 
until they were ready to succumb, and were only saved by a 
public subscription taken up by inhabitants of the City of 
Boston to pay their fines and send them away. Josiah Cole, 
a cousin of Christopher Holder, from near Bristol, arrived 
in America in 1658 and travelled extensively over the coun 
try preaching. The story of all these missionaries is one of 
continual arrest, banishment and beatings, all of which had 
no apparent effect. Sarah Gibbons, Dorothy Waugh and 
Harriet Gardner were stripped and flogged. Then Kather- 


ine Scott, * a sister of Anne Marbury Hutchinson, a 
descendant of Dryden, poet laureate, walked to Boston to 
remonstrate against the barbarous treatment of Holder, 
Copeland and Robinson, whose ears were cut off, for which 
she was flogged and sent off. Arthur Howland of North- 
field was heavily fined for entertaining Friends, and every 
possible indignity was thrust upon them. 

Sandwich was a hot-bed of Quakerism, and few of its in 
habitants but felt the hand of Endicott in this eventful 
year. Many of the descendants of the old Martyrs are 
still living in this town, particularly the Wings and Ewers, 
whose ancestors were imprisoned for various causes. 

Besse records the following distraints made about this 
period from Friends resident in and near Sandwich, to sat 
isfy the fines imposed: 

"Robert Harper 44 o o 

Joseph Allen 5 12 o 

Edward Perry 89 18 o 

George Allen 25 15 o 

William Gifford 57 19 o 

William Newland 36 o o 

Ralph Allen, Jim. 18 o o 

John Jenkins 19 10 o 

Henry Howland 1 10 o 

Ralph Allen, Sen. 68 o o 

*The Scotts were of a distinguished family, Katharine Scott, the 
wife of Thomas, was a descendant of John Dryden, the poet laureate, 
and of Sir Erasmus Dryden, and the fifth great grandmother of Mrs. 
Russell Sage, the distinguished American Philanthropist. One of the 
daughters, Mary Scott, married Christopher Holder, the Quaker 
pioneer minister. Another daughter, Hannah, married Walter Clark, 
the famous Quaker governor of Rhode Island and minister. 


Thomas Greenfield 400 

Richard Kirby 57 12 o 

William Allen 86 17 o 

Thomas Ewer 25 8 o 

Daniel Wing 12 o o 

Peter Gaunt 43 14 6 

Michael Turner 13 10 o 

John Newland 260 

Matthew Allen 48 16 o 

660 7 6" 



In addition to the Declaration of Faith given in the prev 
ious chapter, a paper was prepared by the Friends, probably 
written by Christopher Holder, who was a highly educated 
man of known literary tastes, bearing upon the "Persecut 
ing Spirit Exhibited in New England with warning to 
those who are indulging therein." This document appears 
to have aroused Endicott to a "fury." Summoning the 
Friends when the paper was found to have been circulated, 
he demanded whether they acknowledged it, and upon re 
ceiving their affirmation, burst into a tirade of invective, 
telling them "that they deserved to be hanged for writing 
it," and, says Bowden, "if he had possessed the power to ex 
ecute his desires, the gibbet on Boston Common would, in all 
probability, soon have terminated the labors of these good 

Endicott and Bellingham, his deputy, now determined to 
rid the colony of the Quakers at any cost, and began a series 
of cruelties and tortures that savored of the Inquisition. 
An order was issued that "all Quakers in jail shall be severely 
whipped twice a week," the punishment to begin with 
fifteen lashes and to increase the number by three at every 
successive application of the dejgrading sentence. Christo 
pher Holder received thirty lashes at first ; thence for seven 
weeks they received this sentence, the punishment being as 
follows: First week (original punishment), thirty lashes; 
third week, thirty-three lashes; fourth week, thirty-nine 


lashes; fifth week, forty-five lashes, sixth week, fifty-one 
lashes; seventh week, fifty-seven lashes; eighth week, sixty- 
three lashes; ninth week, sixty-nine lashes, or, in the course 
of seven weeks, omitting the two during which they were not 
whipped, Holder received three hundred and fifty-seven 
lashes with the triple-knotted cord. Copeland received the 
same, and, in all probability, Doudney, though the records 
do not mention it; yet nowhere is it shown that these min 
isters uttered a word of complaint at their sufferings. 

This was but the beginning of Endicott s crusade against 
the Quakers. He now issued what is known as the." tongue- 
boring" law, in which it was stated that for a third offense, 
the crime consisting of entering the city of Boston or the 
colony of Massachusetts, the Quaker should have his or her 
..tongue bored through with a hot iron. The following is a 
copy of the document which I take from the Colonial 
Records, which was passed in August, 1657, and issued by 
Secretary Rawson, October 14th: 

"As an addition to the late order, in reference to the com 
ing, or bringing in any of the cursed sect of the Quakers into 
this jurisdiction, It is ordered, that whosoever shall from 
henceforth bring, or cause to be brought, directly or indi 
rectly any known Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous 
heretics into this jurisdiction, every such person shall forfeit 
the sum of 100 to the country, and shall, by warrant from 
any magistrate, be committed to prison, there to remain, un 
til the penalty be fully satisfied and paid; and if any person 
or persons within this jurisdiction, shall henceforth enter 
tain or conceal any Quaker or Quakers, or other blasphemous 
heretics (knowing them to be so) every such person shall 
forfeit to the country forty shillings for every hour s con- 


Elizabeth Cornstock, Caroline Talbot 
Charles F. Coffin (Lynn.), Arts Keen (Lynn.) 

Of Lynn and Washington. Lineal Descendent of Edirard (love of Hampton 


cealment and entertainment of any Quaker or Quakers, &c., 
and shall be committed to prison till the forfeitures be fully 
satisfied and paid: And it is further ordered, that if any 
Quaker or Quakers shall presume (after they have once suf 
fered what the law requireth) to come into this jurisdiction 
every such male Quaker shall, for the first offense, have one 
of his ears cut off, and be kept at work in the house of cor 
rection, till he can be sent away at his own charge ; and for 
the second offence, shall have his other ear cut off, and be 
kept at the house of correction as aforesaid. And every 
woman Quaker that hath suffered the law here, that shall 
presume to come into this jurisdiction shall be severely whip 
ped, and kept at the house of correction at work, till she be 
sent away at her own charge ; and also for her coming again, 
shall be used as aforesaid. And for every Quaker, he or 
she, that shall a third time offend, they shall have their 
tongues bored through with a hot iron, and kept at the house 
of correction close to work till they be sent away at their 
own charge. And it is further ordered, That all and every 
Quaker, arising from amongst ourselves, shall be dealt with 
and suffer like punishment, as the law provides against for 
eign Quakers. 

"Edward Rawson, Secretary. 
"Boston, 14th day of October, 1657." 

The repeated whippings to which Christopher Holder and 
John Copeland were subjected in the jail, the barbarous 
sentence being carried out twice a week, as described, did not 
fail to arouse sentiments of horror and repugnance among 
the more intelligent of the Puritans, and a reaction set in. 
The murmurings grew so loud and deep that, after subject 
ing the Quakers to nine weeks of torture, Endicott was 


alarmed and ordered their release. On the 24th of Sep 
tember they were discharged and taken before the governor 
for final sentence. The tongue-boring law was read to them 
and they were duly banished from the colony. 

While Holder and Copeland were undergoing the weekly 
beatings, the jail had received several accessions. Previous 
to the scene at the First Church, where Christopher Holder 
was attacked and rescued by Samuel Shattuck, he had been, 
as we have seen, hospitably entertained by Lawrence and 
Cassandra South wick, people of repute in the town, de 
scribed by Bishop as "an aged and grave couple." When 
this was discovered, they were arrested and thrown into jail 
with Christopher Holder and John Copeland, where Rich 
ard Doudney soon joined them, and later Mary Clark, who 
had come from London to protest against the outrages per 
petrated against the Quakers. The friendship of the South- 
wick family for Holder caused them to fall under the ban 
of Governor Endicott, and they were ultimately driven out 
of the colony. Lawrence Southwick was released, but upon 
Cassandra, when searched in the jail, was found the Declar 
ation of Faith by Christopher Holder and John Copeland, 
and their later warning. For the crime of possessing these 
papers, this infirm woman was detained in prison seven 
weeks and, according to Gough, both she and her husband 
were whipped, while, according to Sewell, they were de 
prived of their property. Mary Clark was given twenty 
stripes with three cords upon her naked back. Sewell adds : 
"The cords of these whips were commonly as thick as a 
man s little finger, having some knots at the end, and the 
stick was sometimes so long that the hangman made use of 
both his hands to strike the harder." 


Governor Endicott even vented his rage upon the children 
of the entertainers of Christopher Holder as well. They 
were evidently watched, it being suspected that the family 
had joined the Friends, which was undoubtedly true, and 
the first time that Daniel and Provided, the son and daugh 
ter of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, remained away 
from church, they were arrested and fined 10 each for non- 
attendance. This they would not pay, whereupon Endicott, 
determined not only to rid the colony of Christopher Holder, 
but of any who had befriended him, ordered the brother and 
sister to be sold as slaves. The general court of Boston is 
sued the following order in May, 1659, and it may be seen 
on the colonial records, bearing the name of Edward 
Rawson : 

"Whereas, Daniel Southwick and Provided Southwick, 
son and daughter of Lawrence Southwick, absenting them 
selves from the public ordinances, having been fined by the 
courts of Salem and Ipswich, pretending they have no 
estates, and resolving not to work : The court, upon perusal 
of a law which was made upon account of debts, in answer 
to what should be done for the satisfaction of the fines, re 
solves, That the treasurers of the several counties, are and 
shall be fully empowered to sell the said persons to any of 
the English nation at Virginia or Barbadoes, to answer the 
said fines." 

The attempt was made to carry out this sentence, but, to 
the honor of the Puritans, no one could be found in the 
colony of Massachusetts who would be a party to Endicott s 
malice, nor could a ship captain be discovered in any port 
who would on any terms carry the English free man and 
woman to slavery. This remarkable incident is introduced 


because it was a direct result of the friendship of Christo 
pher Holder, which Endicott made a blight upon all who 
were the recipients, and because, in the nineteenth century, 
a descendant of Cassandra Southwick married a descendant 
of Christopher Holder William Penn Holder, late of Lan 
caster, Massachusetts, a brother of Frank T. Holder, of 
Pasadena, California. The poem, "Cassandra Southwick," 
by Whittier, is a familiar one, a part of which is here given : 

Then to the stout sea captains the sheriff, 
turning, said 

"Which of ye, worthy seamen, will take 
this Quaker maid? 

In the isle of fair Barbadoes, or on Vir 
ginia s shore, 

You may hold her at a higher price than 
Indian girl or Moor." 

Grim and silent stood the captains; and 

when again he cried, 
"Speak out my worthy seamen !" no 

voice, no sign replied; 
But I felt a hard hand press my own, 

and kind word met my ear, 
"God bless thee and preserve thee, my 

gentle girl and dear!" 

A weight seemed lifted from my heart, 

a pitying friend was nigh, 
I felt it in his hard, rough hand, and saw 

it in his eye; 
And when again the sheriff spoke, that 

voice, so kind to me, 
Growled back its stormy answer like the 

roaring of the sea, 


"Pile my ship with bars of silver, pack 

with coins of Spanish gold, 
From keel-piece up to deck-plank, the 

roomage of her hold, 
By the living God who made me ! I 

would sooner in your bay 
Sink ship and crew and cargo, than bear 

this child away !" * 

Provided Southwick was released and sent home ; Holder, 
John Copeland, Richard Doudney and Mary Clark, ban 
ished. Christopher Holder, banished, took passage for 
England, and from there sailed to the West India Islands, 
traveling extensively. But his heart was in the work in the 
colony of Massachusetts, where the martyrdom of Friends 
was still going on. In 1658 George Fox received a letter 
from him, dated Barbados, stating that he had sailed from 
that port in February for Rhode Island, via Bermuda. To 
return now meant not only the scourge, but worse the loss 
of an ear, the brand, or a hot iron thrust through the tongue ; 
yet Holder determined to again force his way into the Puri 
tan stronghold. In the meantime, his former companion, 
John Copeland had also decided to return, and, with 
William Brend, entered the colony of Plymouth. Here 
they found friends at court in the persons of Magistrates 
James Cudworth and Timothy Hatherly, of Scituate, who 
not only refused to prosecute them, but allowed them to 
hold meetings at their house, and on their departure gave 
them the following pass : 

"These are, therefore, to any that may interrupt these two 

*Whittier made the mistake of using the mother s name of Cas 
sandra instead of the daughter s, "Provided." 


men in their passage, that ye let them pass quietly on their 
way, they offering no wrong to any. 

"Timothy Hatherly." 

Despite this the Friends were arrested in Boston. Brend 
was held and suffered untold tortures, being beaten so that 
he was given up for dead. John Copeland was released and 
went to Connecticut ; then, learning that Christopher Holder 
had landed in Rhode Island, he joined him, and the two 
friends passed eastward to Plymouth. 

There were now fifteen Friends laboring in New Eng 
land, the original eleven who had crossed the ocean in the 
"Woodhouse," with Holder, and Mary Dyer, of Rhode 
Island, John Rous, William Leddra and Thomas Harris, of 
Barbados. This force and their converts were opposed to 
all New England. The people were stirred as never before, 
and the Quakers were constantly entering Boston. As soon 
as one party was Beaten, another appeared, and the Puritans 
wondered that these men could submit to such torture with 
out complaint. On the 15th of April, 1658, Christopher 
Holder and John Copeland left Rhode Island, and on the 
2,3rd they attended a meeting of Friends at Sandwich, where 
they were promptly arrested by the marshal. The latter 
officer had received strict orders from Governor Endicott to 
enforce the laws, and to banish all Quakers without delay; 
and should they return, the selectmen were ordered to see 
that they were whipped. 

The ministers were ordered to leave, but Christopher 
Holder replied that "if they felt it to be the will of their 
divine master, they would do so, but on no other ground 
could they promise to leave Sandwich." The marshal then 
notified the selectmen that it was their duty to act, but they 


refused, whereupon he seized the two Quakers and marched 
them to Barnstable a singular procession, as many of the 
converts of Holder and his friend insisted on following, that 
they might "cheer their brethren in bonds." The following 
are the names of some of the original eighteen families who 
became Friends, and doubtless many of them followed 
Christopher Holder and saw him scourged at Barnstable. 
They were Thomas Ewer, Robert Harper, Joseph Allen, 
Edward Perry, George Allen, William Gifford, William 
Newland, Ralph Allen, Jr., John Jenkins, Henry Howland, 
Ralph Allen, Sr., Thomas Greenfield, Richard Kirby, 
William Allen, Daniel Wing, Peter Gaunt, Michael Turner, 
John Newland, Matthew Allen, all of whom, in 1658, 
were fined from ten to one hundred pounds for refusing to 
take the oath. Nearly all are represented in Sandwich or 
vicinity to-day. Mrs. Ewer is at the Moses Brown School 
in Providence; a Wing still lives in the old Wing home 
stead. The Howlands settled in New Bedford, and the 
descendants are prominent Friends to-day. The Aliens and 
Wings are distinguished families in New England; and so 
with the others, the descendants in 1913 being in many in 
stances still Friends, worthy descendants of the early 
martyrs and among the men and women who have made 
New England what it is. 

The Barnstable magistrate was heartily in accord with 
the marshal, and, after going through the form of an exami 
nation, he undertook the office of executioner, bound the 
prisoners to a post in an outhouse, and, with their friends as 
"ear and eye witnesses to the cruelty," administered thirty- 
three lashes, cutting their naked backs until they ran with 
blood. The day following the whippings, when the victims 


were better able to travel, they were taken to Sandwich and 
released, traveling to Rhode Island, doubtless to recover 
from their wounds among staunch friends. 

Christopher Holder, seriously injured by his repeated 
beatings, found refuge in the home of Richard and Kather- 
ine Scott, Friends, or Quakers, of Providence, who tenderly 
cared for him until he regained his health, and not long 
after we learned that he was engaged to Mary Scott,* a 
daughter of the family. 

It is difficult for the reader in the twentieth century to 

*The Scotts were influential people in the colony of Rhode Island, 
and were early converts to the religious convictions of Christopher 
Holder. Bishop says that Katherine Scott was a "grave, sober, 
ancient woman, of blameless conversation and of good education and 
circumstances," and Hutchinson, the historian, states that she was well 
bred, being a minister s daughter in England, though a Quaker by 
conviction. Her sister was the famous Anne Marbury Hutchinson, 
the leader of the Antinomians in Boston, who, with her brother, John 
Wheelright, was banished from Massachuseetts in 1637, and who was 
killed by the Indians at Hell Gate, N. Y., in 1643. The husband, 
Richard Scott, was a man of wealth and influence in the colonies. 
Norton says: "Her husband, Richard Scott, and eight or nine child 
ren also became convinced of our convictions." "The power of God," 
writes John Rous, "took place in all their children" (Norton s Ensign), 
and, according to Bowden, one of the daughters spoke as a minister, 
although but eleven years of age. In a biography of Mary Dyer by 
Horatio Rogers, associate justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode 
Island, 1896, a relative of Christopher Holder by marriage, is found 
the following reference to this family, into which Christopher Holder 
married: "The Scott family were staunch Quakers and very friendly 
with Mary Dyer." Still another daughter, Hannah Scott, married 
Walter Clarke, a young Quaker, and for a number of years governor 
of Rhode Island. It is from her that Horatio Rogers is descended. 
Mrs. Katherine Scott s father was the Rev. Francis Marbury, of 
London, and her mother was sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden, Bart., 
grandfather of the poet. Such was the family into which Christopher 
Holder married, and in which we now find him recovering from his 
last scourging at Barnstable. 


realize the zeal which actuated these Quaker Martyrs, which 
made them eager and willing to face death, branding and 
nameless tortures, in emulation of Him who died upon the 
cross to save sinners. It was this sentiment which supported 
them. If Christ gave His life to save the world, how 
then could his followers refuse to sacrifice their lives in His 
cause? Such was the philosophy of Christopher Holder 
and his friends, who now carried on this most unequal war 
fare against the religious tenets of the Puritans. Says 
Associate Justice Rogers, of the Supreme Court of Rhode 
Island : "Massachusetts law-makers did not reckon upon the 
existence of a zeal, a courage, a heroism, call it what you 
will, that would break down and triumph over their determ 
ination. They had never seen a self-sacrifice that conquered 
by its very submissiveness, and overwhelmed persecutors 
by a surfeit of victims offering themselves for sacrifice. The 
Quakers," he continues, "were absolutely fearless. They 
counted their lives as nothing in upholding their views, and 
they not only did not avoid martyrdom, but they studiously 
courted it ; and therein lay their power and the secret of their 
final triumph." 

News from Boston was not wholly reassuring. Humph 
rey Norton, William Brend, John Rous and others were be 
ing brutally beaten and treated there, and a new law had 
been enacted to the effect that if Quakers in jail would not 
work, they were to be whipped regularly twice a week, the 
first whipping to be with ten strokes, the second with fifteen, 
and every subsequent whipping with an addition of three 
"until further orders," the victims to which other than the 
above being William Leddra, afterwards hung by order of 
Endicott, and Thomas Harris. This brutality so aroused 


the people that their fines were raised by public subscription, 
and the four Friends sent to Providence. When they reached 
Rhode Island, Christopher Holder was just convalescent 
after his Barnstable scourging, and, as Boston was now left 
without any Friends to carry on the work, he decided to go 
there, with John Copeland, who arrived in Providence about 
this time. The two men well knew what was before them. 
They might, according to edict, lose an ear, be branded, per 
haps whipped to death after the manner of John Brend, but 
all this had no terrors for them, and on the 3d of June, 
1658, they left Providence, soon reaching Dedham. Before 
they had an opportunity to preach, the emissaries of Endi- 
cott heard of their presence, arrested them and sent them to 
Boston, where they were at once carried to the House of 
Governor Endicott, who flew into a violent rage upon seeing 
and recognizing them as the ministers who had repeatedly 
defied him. "You shall have your ears cut off," he shouted. 
"That men who had been imprisoned," says Bowden, "and 
whipped and banished for their religious opinions, should 
still persist in the advocacy of them, with the certainty of in 
curring increased severities, was what the darkened mind of 
Endicott could not comprehend." The scene must have 
been a striking one. The manacled Quakers standing by the 
officers, cool, perfectly at their ease, regardless of abuse, ac 
cepting everything as a part of their work without com 
plaint. Their very equipoise was maddening to the narrow- 
minded man who was their superior by virtue of his office, 
their inferior in intelligence or breeding. He vainly en 
deavored to extort from them some remark which might be 
used against them. "What! You remain in the same 
opinion you were before*?" he cried, wondering, despite 


his rage, what manner of men these were. "We remain in 
the fear of the Lord," responded Holder. "Why do you 
return*?" then asked Governor Endicott; "you know the 
law." "The Lord God hath commanded us, and we could 
not but come," replied Christopher Holder. "The Lord 
command you to come ?" exclaimed the governor; "it was 
Satan;" and, turning to Rawson, his secretary, he directed 
that the following order should be made out, here copied 
from Besse : 

"To the Keeper of the House of Correction: 
"You are by virtue hereof, required to take into your 
custody the bodies of Christopher Holder and John Cope- 
land, and them safely to keep close to work, with prisoners 
diet only, till their ears be cut off; and not suffer them to 
converse with any, while they are in your custody. 

"Edward Rawson, Secretary." 

The ministers were thrust into a noisome jail, and for 
three days the jailer starved them because they would not 
work. A few days later they were joined by their friend, 
John Rous, who had been arrested. The Court of Assist 
ants assembled in Boston the yth of July, 1658, and the 
three friends were taken, menacled, before it and subjected 
to a long and rigorous questioning as to why they had re 
turned. They were then remanded, and again taken before 
the court to receive sentence, which was that each should 
have the right ear cut off, a degrading punishment, originally 
devised by the Star Chamber, in England, which, in 1634, 
ordered that William Prynne, Henry Burton and Dr. Bost- 
wick should have their ears cut off at a scaffold in Palace 
Yard, Westminster, an order which was carried out against 


these Puritans, who now applied the same treatment to the 

The sentence created intense excitement in Boston. 
Many began to feel that the charges against the Quakers 
were unjust and without reason, also many converts had 
been made, both factions forming the nucleus of an anti- 
Puritan party. As the news was spread broadcast and reached 
Rhode Island, Friends at once started for Boston to protest 
against the injustice and to give the victims their moral sup 
port. Among them were Cassandra and Lawrence South- 
wick, Samuel Shattuck, who had entertained Christopher 
Holder, William Newland and others of Sandwich. 
Among the women who went to Boston was Katherine Scott, 
of Providence, who had so recently entertained Christopher 
Holder. She created much excitement by her bold ad 
vocacy of the prisoners, her influence and position in the 
colony of Rhode Island being well known. She went be 
fore Endicott and remonstrated with him on "this barbarous 
act," and was detained as a prisoner for her temerity and 
subjected to a rigorous examination, during which she was 
told that "they were likely to have a law to hang her if she 
came there again." To which she replied, "If God calls us, 
woe be to us if we come not, and I question not but He 
whom we love, will make us not count our lives dear unto 
ourselves for the sake of His name." To which Endicott 
replied, "And we shall be as ready to take away your lives, 
as ye shall be to lay them down." .She was released, with a 
warning. In the meantime, Christopher Holder announced 
to the court that he wished to appeal to Oliver Cromwell 
against its decision, to which reply was made that if they 
opened their mouths again the gag would be applied. 


On the iyth of July the sentence was to be carried out, 
and, hearing it was to be enforced privately by their execu 
tioner in the jail, Kathertne Scott made another protest, 
saying that "It was evident they were going to act the works 
of darkness or else they would have brought them forth 
publicly and have declared their offense that others may 
hear and fear." The truth was that so hostile had the pub 
lic become at these exhibitions that Endicott feared to risk 
a public execution; hence it was carried out in private. But 
Katherine Scott had protested too much. She was arrested 
for this last offense, committed to prison, and given ten 
stripes with the knotted cord at the hands of the executioner 
an act which aroused the greatest indignation in the col 
ony of Rhode Island. On the lyth of July, Christopher 
Holder, John Rous and John Copeland had their right ears 
cut off by the hangman, and, as they stood, bleeding, the 
latter asked if they repented and how they liked it. Their 
reply was, "In the strength of God we suffered joyfully, 
having freely given up not only one member, but all, if the 
Lord so required, for the sealing of our testimony which the 
Lord hath given us." Sewell gives the following account of 
the incident: 

"To the marshal-general, or to his deputy: You are to 
take with you the executioner, and repair to the house of cor 
rection, and there see him cut off the right ears of John 
Copeland, Christopher Holder, and John Rous, Quakers; in 
execution of the sentence of the court of assistants, for the 
breach of the law, entitled Quakers. 

" Edward Rawson, Secretary. 

"Then the prisoners were brought into another room, 
where John Rous said to the marshal, We have appealed to 


the chief magistrate of England. To which he answered he 
had nothing to do with that. Holder said, Such execution 
as this should be done publicly, and not in private, for this 
was contrary to the law of England. But Captain Oliver 
said, We do it in private to keep you from tattling. Then 
the executioner took Holder, and when he had turned aside 
his hair, and was going to cut off his ear, the marshal turned 
his back on him, which made Rous say, Turn about and 
see it ; for so was his order. The marshal then, though filled 
with fear, turned and said, Yes, yes, let us look on it. 
Rous, who was more undaunted than his persecutor, suffered 
the like, as well as the third, and they said, Those that do 
it ignorantly, we desire from our hearts the Lord to forgive 
them; but for them that do it maliciously, let our blood be 
upon their heads ; and such shall know, in the day of account, 
that every drop of our blood shall be as heavy upon them as 
a millstone. Afterwards these persons were whipped 
again; but, this practice becoming so common in New Eng 
land as if it was but play, I will not detain my reader 
with it." 

The mutilated ministers, showing no evidence of fear, or 
that they purposed to change their methods, were detained 
in jail, and, according to the law, beaten twice a week, 
finally, after nine weeks of this punishment, being released. 

Rev. John Norton (who, according to Oldmixon, in his 
"British Empire in America," was at the head of all Quaker 
suffering in America), a Puritan pastor of the First Church, 
who had been the bitterest enemy of the Quakers, foreseeing 
that they would return again, induced the magistrates to 
pass a still more stringent law; ear-cutting, boring the 
tongue, branding the hand with H (Heretic), the pillory 


and stocks, the whipping post and banishment, were all too 
simple for this reverend spirit. The Rev. John Wilson, 
another pastor of the Boston First Church, cried : "I would 
carry fire in my one hand and fagots in the other, to burn all 
the Quakers in the world. Hang them!" he cried, "or else" 
drawing his finger across his throat in a suggestive man 
ner. Such was the strenuous life in Boston in 1658. As 
a result of the demands of these clergymen of the town, the 
following act was passed a few weeks after Christopher 
Holder was released, or on the 2Oth of October, being evi 
dently designed to end the career of this ecclesiastical knight 
should he ever return to the colony of Massachusetts. The 
act, which is a long one, ends as follows: "They shall be 
sentenced to banishment upon pain of death; and any one 
magistrate upon information given him of any such person, 
shall cause him to be apprehended, and shall commit any 
such person to prison, according to his discretion, until he 
come to trial, as aforesaid." 

"Here," says Sewell, the historian, "ends this sanguinary 
act, being more like to the decrees of the Spanish Inquisition 
than to the laws of a reformed Christian magistracy, consist 
ing of such, who, to shun persecution themselves, (which was 
but a small fine for not frequenting public worship), had 
left Old England." 

The reader who has followed the steps of this martyr 
of the Friends will not believe that Christopher Holder 
would obey the mandates, often broken, of banishment, or 
be intimidated by the brutal act passed with so much diffi 
culty. When liberated from jail, his health being impair 
ed, he went south, where he joined William Robinson, de 
scribed as his loving friend, and, together with Robert 


Hodgson, they carried on their gospel labors in Virginia and 
Maryland until early in 16 9, when they returned to Rhode 
Island. It appears from a letter written by Peter Pearson 
in Plymouth Prison, that all the Friends met in Rhode Is 
land, April 9, 1659, to arrange for future work. 

Previous to going Christopher Holder issued a letter ad 
dressed to the magistrates and others in Boston, a fac 
simile of which and of the exact size, showing his hand writ 
ing and autograph, is seen on the following page. This let 
ter was found in New England by Mr. Wing, Curator of the 
Dartmouth Museum and a distinguished authority on Qua 
ker history. Mr. Wing is a descendant of Christopher 
Holder on the Slocum side, his grandfather being Holder 

The journey was soon begun, and, at her earnest solicita 
tion, Christopher Holder allowed Patience Scott, who was 
later to become his sister-in-law, to accompany them. She 
was but eleven years of age, yet had developed a remarkable 
talent for speaking, and seemed possessed of wisdom far be 
yond her age. Her appearance in Boston, and her subse 
quent experiences, created a profound sensation. 

The three men knew that there could be but one result of 
their journey. They had all been banished under pain of 
death, yet faced it without regret. That they succeeded in 
avoiding arrest for some weeks is evident, as, in a letter to 
friends in England, William Robinson mentions having re 
ceived a letter from Christopher Holder in May, 1659, m 
which he says, "Was in service at Salem last week, and hath 
had fine service among Friends in these parts." 

Their time of freedom was short. Marmaduke Stephen- 
son and William Robinson were arrested; then Patience 


Scott was jailed for protesting against their sentence, and 
last, Christopher Holder was apprehended in the streets of 
Boston and thrown into jail. As a result, the courts, fear 
ing public opinion, sentenced them again, with the exception 
of Patience Scott, to banishment, under pain of death, giv 
ing them the customary beating and a few days in which to 
leave. But, to the consternation of Endicott and Norton, 
the Friends paid no attention to the warning. William 
Robinson and Marmaduke Stephenson held many meetings 
in and about Salem and Lynn, in the fields and by-ways, 
while Christopher Holder traveled in the north of Massa 
chusetts, then returning to Boston, where he was arrested 
and thrown into jail in August, 1659. The magistrates 
were amazed at this utter disregard of the death penalty, 
and, urged by the Rev. Norton, wholesale arrests were made 
and preparations for the execution of some of the Quakers 
begun. Numbers of Friends now came to Boston to see 
Christopher Holder, among them Hope Clifton, of a well- 
known Rhode Island family, who later became his second 
wife. With her came Mary Dyer and Mary Scott. Bow- 
den says: "Mary Dyer, under a feeling of religious con 
straint, returned to Boston, accompanied by Hope Clifton, 
a Friend, of Rhode Island. They entered the city the 8th 
of the eighth month; on the following morning they pro 
ceeded to the gaol to visit Christopher Holder, and were 
recognized and arrested." 

In rapid succession friends of Christopher Holder were 
thrown into jail Robert Harper, Daniel and Provided 
Southwick, Nicholas Upsal. A few days later Robinson 
and Stephenson came from Salem, heading a remarkable 
procession of Friends, who accompanied them to witness 


their execution. They were Daniel Gould, Hannah Phelps, 
William King, Mary Trask, Margaret Smith and Alice 
Cowland. "The latter," says Bishop, "brought linen to 
wrap the dead bodies of those who were to suffer." All 
these persons were met by the constables, the two ministers 
being loaded with chains. There were now seventeen per 
sons in jail, and Bancroft says, "The Quakers swarmed when 
they were feared." 

For some reason, in all probability the fact that his fam 
ily or connections in England were of paramount influence 
with the reigning powers, Governor Endicott found it con 
venient to omit sentencing Christopher Holder to death, 
though he had once, if not twice, been banished under pain 
of death, and had been the recipient of the maximum 
amount of malignity in the form of every possible indignity 
and torture ; but Stephenson, Robinson and Mary Dyer were 
sentenced to death and later executed. The other Friends 
with Christopher Holder were kept in jail two months, and 
then taken before the court for examination. Their sen 
tence was, the men fifteen stripes each ; the older women ten 
stripes each, for which they were stripped in the public 
streets and beaten before the mob. Alice Cowland, Hannah 
Phelps, Hope Clifton and Mary Scott were delivered over 
to Governor Endicott for admonition, while Christopher 
Holder for reasons best known to the governor, as suggested 
above, was for the third time banished on pain of death. 
An order of the court was issued to this effect, of which the 
following is a copy taken from the Colonial Records, 
October 18, 1659: 

"Whereas, Christopher Holder, a Quaker, hath suffered 
what the law formerly appointed, after being sent to Eng- 


land without punishment, presumptuously coming into this 
jurisdiction without leave first obtained, the Court judgeth 
it meete to sentence him to banishment on pain of death ; in 
case he be found within this jurisdiction three days after the 
next ship now bound from hence to England be departed 
from this harbor, with the keeper at his own charge, he shall 
have liberty one day in a week to go about his business, and 
in case he shall choose to go out of this jurisdiction sooner 
on the penalty aforesaid, he shall by order from the Gover 
nor or Deputy Governor be discharged the prison, so as he 
stay not above three days after his discharge from the 
prison in this jurisdiction." 

Christopher Holder now sailed for England where, with 
Samuel Shattuck, George Fox and other Friends, he held 
many meetings; and when Charles the Second succeeded to 
the throne, he at once acted on the appeals of the Quakers, 
and released a small army of them from English jails, and 
promised the American martyrs that they should be pro 

When the news of the downfall of the Puritan party and 
the restoration reached America, Endicott and his friends 
became alarmed and realized that they must justify the 
murders of Robinson, Stephenson and Dyer and the mal 
treatment of Holder and his banishment on pain of death. 
They accordingly got up a petition in which the Friends 
were denounced in the most remarkable terms, evidence, if 
no other existed, of their malice, and the fear and injustice 
which filled the hearts of Endicott, Wilson, Rawson, Norton 
and Bellingham at this time. This tissue of lies was taken 
to England by agents of Endicott, but Christopher Holder, 
Samuel Shattuck and John Cope land were in London, and 


their friend, Edward Burrough, provided by them with the 
facts, made the king his well-known address : 

"Oh King, this my occasion to present thee with these 
considerations is very urgent, and of great necessity, even in 
the behalf of innocent blood, because of a paper presented to 
thee, called The humble petition and address of the General 
Court at Boston, in New England; in which are con 
tained divers calumnies, unjust reproaches, palpable un 
truths, and malicious slanders against an innocent people. 
It is hard to relate the cruelties that have been committed 
against this people by these petitioners: they have spoiled 
their goods, imprisoned many of their persons, whipped 
them, cut off their ears, burned them, yea, banished and 
murdered them: and all I aver and affirm before thee, O 
King, wholly unjustly and unrighteously, and without the 
breach of any just law of God or man; but for and because 
of difference in judgment and practice concerning spiritual 

"After refuting the charges of blasphemy, &c.," says 
Bowden, "Edward Burrough refers to another, in which they 
are represented as persons of impetuous and desperate 
turbulency to the State, civil and ecclesiastical. "Let it be 
considered," says Burrough, "what their dangerous and 
desperate turbulency was to State, civil and ecclesiastical: 
Did ever these poor people, whom they condemned and put 
to shameful death, lift up a hand against them, or appear in 
any turbulent gesture towards them? Were they ever 
found with any carnal weapon about them*? or, what was 
their crime, saving that they warned sinners to repent, and 
the ungodly to turn from his way"? We appeal to the God 
of heaven on their behalf, whom they have martyred for the 


name of Christ, that they had no other offense to charge up 
on them, saving their conversations, doctrines, and (relig 
ious) practices. It is fully believed by us, that these sufferers 
did not go into New England in their own cause, but in 
God s cause, and in the movings of his Holy Spirit, and in 
good conscience towards Him. They did rather suffer the 
loss of their own lives for their obedience towards God than 
to disobey him to keep the commandments of men. The 
blood of our brethren lieth upon the heads of the magis 
trates of New England. They are guilty of their cruel 
death; for they put them to death, not for any evil doing 
between man and man, but for their obedience to God, and 
for good conscience sake towards him." 

Burrough in continuing said: "Again, these petitioners 
fawn and flatter in these words Let not the king hear men s 
words; your servants are true men, fearers of God and the 
king, and not given to change; zealous of government and 
order. We are not seditious to the interest of Caesar, &c. 
In answer to this, many things are to be considered; why 
should the petitioners seem to exhort the king not to hear 
men s words ? Shall the innocent be accused before him, 
and not heard in their lawful defense? Must not the king 
hear the accused as well as the accusers, and in as much 
justice? I hope God hath given him more nobility of 
understanding, than to receive or put in practice such ad 
monition ; and I desire that it may be far from the king ever 
to condemn any person or people upon the accusation of 
others, without full hearing of the accused, as well as their 
enemies, for it is justice and equity so to do, and thereby 
shall his judgment be the more just." "Thus," he concluded, 
"these considerations are presented to the king, in vindi- 


cation of that innocent people called Quakers, whom these 
petitioners have accused as guilty of heinous crimes, that 
themselves might appear innocent of the cruelty, and in 
justice, and shedding of the blood of just men, without 
cause. But let the king rightly consider of the case between 
us and them, and let him not hide his face from hearing the 
cry of innocent blood. For a further testimony of the 
wickedness and enormity of these petitioners, and to demon 
strate how far they had proceeded contrary to the good laws 
and authority of England, and contrary to their own patent, 
hereunto is annexed and presented to the king, a brief of 
their unjust dealings towards the Quakers." 

He did not stop here; his eloquent appeal to justice was 
followed by a complete presentation of the facts relating to 
the outrages against Christopher Holder, Samuel Shattuck 
and others by George Bishop, of Bristol, who in 1661 pro 
duced his book, "New England Judged," which was pre 
sented to the king and read by him. The result was decis 
ive. The king determined to end the outrages perpetrated 
in the colonies in the name of religion, and responded in a 
paper which left no doubt but that the Quakers were at last 
to be protected. A mandamus was addressed to Endicott 
ordering that all Quakers in jail be released and sent to Eng 
land. Probably with a view to thoroughly humiliating 
Endicott, Burrough asked the king that one of the banished 
Friends might be the bearer of the mandamus, and Samuel 
Shattuck, the intimate friend of Christopher Holder, the 
man who in the First Church of Salem, 16^6, had prevented 
him from being strangled, and who had been banished and 
deprived of his property for his staunch friendship for 


Holder and his loyalty to the doctrine of Friends, who 
desired to return to his family, was appointed. 

No more obnoxious selection could have been made, and 
doubtless the little coterie of Friends who now had the 
king s ear were not entirely without a sense of humor. The 
English Friends raised the money at once to hire a ship. 
Ralph Goldsmith was appointed master, and they dispatched 
her with Samuel Shattuck . and many Friends as pas 
sengers, who embraced this opportunity to return. In six 
weeks she entered Boston harbor. The following day Shat 
tuck and the captain waited on the governor at his house, 
and the former stood face to face with the man who had in 
sulted and banished him, now a king s messenger. 

This incident is one of the most dramatic occurrences in 
all the story of New England Quakers. The man who had 
rescued Christopher Holder from the outrageous attack in 
First Church, who had been banished, and, to all intents, 
made an outlaw, had returned as the King s Messenger. 
When the Quaker entered Endicott s home he did not re 
move his hat. Sir John, in a fury, ordered it be taken from 
him, and a servant jerked it off and flung it upon the floor 
in derision. There must have been a lurking laugh on the 
Quaker s face when he remarked, "Is this the way the Mes 
senger of His Majesty the King is received by the Governor 
of Massachusetts colony*?" 

"What do you mean, fellow*?" shouted the enraged gov 

"I mean this," replied Samuel Shattuck, taking a paper 
from his belt and with shining eyes stepping forward. "I 
mean this : that I am the representative of the King. I have 
his mandamus and here are my credentials." 


"Let me see them," said Endicott. 

The Quaker handed them to a servant who took them to 
the governor. 

Endicott glanced at them, bit his lip, and turned purple 
with rage, then exerting all his self possession, he rose and 
faced the representative of his soverign. 

"Replace the gentleman s hat," he said. 

Shattuck took his hat from the hands of the amazed and 
now cringing servant, while Sir John took off his own hat 
and bowed in recognition of the presence of a superior 
power. He then invited the Quaker to accompany him to 
the home of Deputy Governor Bellingham where they were 
received with honors by the frightened official. At the end 
of a short conference Sir John Endicott returned the Qua 
ker s credentials, saying, "We shall obey his Majesty s com 

So complete a victory without striking a blow, was never 
known, as it was practically the end of a bloody war in 
which one side had used the force of arms and manufactured 
laws, while the other had employed the arts of peace, passive 
resistance and the example of Jesus Christ. 

The amazement and chagrin of Endicott can be imagined. 
He did not dare to obey the mandamus and send his prison 
ers to England to become witnesses against himself. 
Christopher Holder and Samuel Shattuck had accomplished 
harm enough, so to avoid "so dangerous a doctrine" he really 
disobeyed the order and discharged the prisoners, who now 
held meetings of rejoicing in all parts of the colonies. The 
following famous poem, "The King s Missive," by Whit- 
tier, is founded on this incident: 


"The door swung open, and Rawson the clerk 

Entered, and whispered under breath, 
"There waits below for the hangman s work 

A fellow banished on pain of death 
Shattuck, of Salem, unhealed of the whip, 
Brought over in Master Goldsmith s ship 
At anchor here in a Christian port, 
With freight of the devil and all his sort !" 

Twice and thrice on the chamber floor 

Striding fiercely from wall to wall, 
"The Lord do so to me and more," 

The Governor cried, "if I hang not all ! 
Bring hither the Quaker." Calm, sedate, 
With the look of a man at ease with fate, 
Into that presence grim and dread 
Came Samuel Shattuck, with hat on head. 

"Off with the knave s hat !" An angry hand 

Smote down the offense; but the wearer said, 
With a quiet smile, "By the king s command 
I bear his message and stand in his stead." 
In the Governor s hand a missive he laid 
With the royal arms on its seal displayed, 
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat, 
Uncovering, "Give Mr. Shattuck his hat." 

He turned to the Quaker, bowing low, 

"The king commandeth your friends release, 

Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although 
To his subjects sorrow and sin s increase. 

What he here enjoineth, John Endicott, 

His loyal subject, questioneth not. 

You are free ! God grant the spirit you own 

May take you from us to parts unknown." 


Endicott now sent a deputation to London to clear him 
self, if possible, selecting the notorious Norton, who had 
been a prominent figure in all the barbarities practiced, and 
an equally undesirable person, a prosecuting magistrate 
named Simon Bradstreet, famous as a "Quaker baiter." 
These men denied all participation in the extreme proceed 
ings in Boston, but John Copeland and Christopher Holder, 
each with one ear, were in London, and with George Fox as 
spokesman, charged them with murder, and, hearing that 
the father of the murdered Robinson was coming to make 
charges against them, they literally fled. Bowden says: 
"This mission was a complete failure." The historian Neil 
writes: "When the Rev. Norton came home (to Boston) 
his friends were very shy of him, and some of the people 
told him to his face that he had lain the foundation of the 
ruin of their liberties, which struck him to the heart and 
brought him to such a melancholy habit of body as to hasten 
his death." 



Among the many interesting types of women Quakers of 
the seventeenth century, none stands out with greater dis 
tinctness than Mary Dyer or Dier, the wife of William 
Dyer "the pride of Somerset in Elizabethan days." How 
Mary Dyer became so notable a figure in colonial history, 
the subject of many monographs, public documents and 
books even in the nineteenth century, can be best explained 
by glancing very briefly at one of the peculiar religious 
cults of previous years. 

In a review of early religions, it is seen that many held 
the doctrine that sin was a mere incident of life, or the body, 
and that a regenerate soul was so pure that sin was impos 
sible. This was a form of Gnosticism, and was held by 
many who had not the faintest idea what it meant. In 
1492-1656, John Agricold of Germany, "received" this 
doctrine, and preached it as a part of a demonstration 
against the Catholic Church; and in 1600-1642, the Rev. 
Tobias Crisp became the advocate in England of a species of 
ultra-Calvinism, which found its expression in Puritan 
theology, as a doctrine embodying the idea that the perfect 
man or woman could become spiritually perfect by having 
his sins transferred to Christ, who became the transgressor, 
thus relieving the real sinner, and leaving him pure and im 
maculate. This was a most comforting and convenient 
doctrine, which gave the name Antinomians to its followers, 
who, to reduce their ambiguous religion to pseudo under- 


standable terms, refused to accept the obligation of the 
moral law, as it was understood in the Gospel. It little mat 
ters how abstruse, impossible or vacuous an idea may be, 
how involved or platitudinous it is, if advanced with cour 
age and conviction by some one who really believes in it, fol 
lowers will always be found; and this singular, not to say 
absurd, doctrine has always had advocates who believe in 
some form of Gnosticism. 

Early in the seventeenth century, a clergyman named 
John Cotton, held the pastorate of St. Botolph in Boston, 
England, then later came to America and became one of the 
striking figures in the American Boston. He was, for that 
time, a man of high learning and intelligence; but his fame 
rests mainly on his intolerance. Among those who followed 
John Cotton to America was John Hutchinson and his 
wife, Anne Marbury Hutchinson, the daughter of a dis 
tinguished London clergyman, and a descendant of Dryden, 
the poet laureate. Mrs. Hutchinson was, without question, 
one of the cleverest women in the Colonies witty, active, 
ambitious and impelled by mental activity to become a 
leader, she seized upon the old doctrine of Agricola, Tobias 
and others, and expounded it so cleverly that young Sir 
Harry Vane, who was then governor, was at his wits end. 
Men and women, even the clergy, as John Cotton, flocked to 
the standard of Mrs. Hutchinson, and they soon split the 
theology of the Puritans, and gave the believers in witch 
craft and other cults and superstitions something new to dis 

The pseudo new party became known as the Antinomians, 
from the fact that they practically denied the obligations of 
the moral law, claiming that they were emancipated from it 


by the Gospel. Mrs. Hutchinson claimed much for a 
certain "supernatural light," in this respect resembling the 
"inner light" of Fox and the Quakers, that has been made 
much of. This extraordinary and vague cult was not so re 
markable as some of the religious theories advanced in the 
twentieth century, which have no rhyme or reason (as that of 
Dowie, to mention but one) ; but as the population of Amer 
ica was not large, the Antinomians created a sensation, and 
for a while demoralized the Puritans, as did witchcraft and 
other weird delusions which have counterparts among the 
ignorant in every land to-day. 

It was not long before the Puritans took exception to the 
doctrines of Mrs. Hutchinson, though there was nothing 
criminal or threatening about them, and she was arrested 
and brought to trial. She testified, among other things, that 
she had obtained information by an "immediate revelation," 
or "by the voice of his own spirit in my soul ;" again the 
idea of the inner light of Fox. The result of her trial was 
that Mrs. Hutchinson was cast out, exiled, and banished 
from the colony. 

The words of the Reverend Mr. Wilson are prophetic of 
the greater intolerance to come in 1656, as she stood up to 
receive her sentence; he said, "In the name of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and in the name of the Church, I do not only 
pronounce you worthy to be cast out, but I do cast you out; 
and in the name of Christ I do deliver you up to Satan. I 
do account you from this time forth to be a heathen and a 
publican. I command you in the name of Jesus Christ and 
of this church as a leper to withdraw yourself out of this 
congregation." As the woman once honored, now under the 
ban of public disfavor, really guiltless of any infraction of 


the moral law, went forth, a woman named Mary Dyer 
arose, clasped her arm, and accompanied her into exile. 
They journeyed to Rhode Island, and a few years later 
^ Mary Dyer sailed for England ; there, finding in the doctrine 
of George Fox much with which she sympathized, she 
joined the Friends, and became a minister. 

Mary Dyer returned to Boston in 1656 with Ann Burke, 
en route for Rhode Island, arriving a few days after the 
banishment of Christopher Holder and John Copeland and 
the rest of the Quakers who came to America in the "Speed 

The two women were at once arrested as "plain Quakers" 
and thrown into jail, and despite their protests, kept there 
several months. Mary Dyer s release was finally obtained 
by her husband who was placed under heavy bonds not to 
allow her to sleep in any house in the colony or to speak to 

Mrs. Dyer had been an early convert and friend of Mrs. 
Hutchinson. She was in every sense a woman of repute and 
of good family and her subsequent history fills a conspicuous 
niche in the archives of New England devoted to intoler 
ance, martyrdom, and the victims of bigotry. Originally 
from London, the Dyers had gone to Boston, where they 
joined the Church of the Rev. Mr. Wilson in 1635, and 
were numbered among the intelligent citizens, being above 
reproach and above the average in education and culture. 
Dyer held many positions of public importance. In 
1638 he was elected clerk, and in 1640-7, was secretary of 
Portsmouth and Newport. Later on, he became the General 
Recorder under the Parliamentary patent, and among his 
later honors was that of attorney general of the colony. 


Mrs. Dyer became a prominent figure as a Quaker min 
ister in Rhode Island, and with their six children the Dyers 
became the ancestors of some of the most distinguished citi 
zens of the state and nation. An earnest minister, Mary 
Dyer traveled over the new country, and in 1658 was ex 
pelled from the colony of New Haven for preaching. 

We have seen John Copeland, Christopher Holder and 
Richard Doudney preaching in New England. In June, 
1659, William Robinson of London, and Marmaduke 
Stephenson of Holderness, now in Rhode Island, felt a call 
to enter Massachusetts. They were accompanied by 
Patience Scott, a young girl, and later a sister-in-law of 
Christopher Holder, and Nicholas Davis of Rhode Island 
colony. They were promptly thrown into jail, where al 
ready awaiting sentence were Christopher Holder and others. 
Mary Dyer followed them some time later and was thrown 
into jail with them, and on September 12, 1659, they were 
banished on pain of death, Patience Scott being admonished 
by the court and sent home. Nicholas Davis and Mary 
Dyer obeyed the admonition, but Robinson and Stephenson 
felt it their duty to remain, and continued their ministry, 
when they were again arrested. There was a close intimacy 
between the Scott, Holder and Dyer families, Christopher 
Holder later marrying Mary Scott, and when it was learned 
that the maimed Holder was again in jail, threatened with 
torture, Mary Dyer, Hope Clifton and Mary Scott walked 
through the forest to Boston from Providence, to plead for 
his release and that of others. Mary Dyer was arrested 
while speaking to Holder through the prison bars, convey 
ing to the victims the messages of Friends, and again cast 
into jail. 


There was no mistaking this move of Holder, Copeland, 
Robinson, Stephenson and Mary Dyer. They deliberately 
challenged the legal right of Endicott to carry out the death 
penalty, they did what their compatriots were doing in Eng 
land, returned to the field as soon as they were released, 
willing to lay down their lives, if necessary, yet never strik 
ing a blow in retaliation. Passive non-resistance and relig 
ious appeals constituted the ammunition and weapons of 
this Colonial Quaker army, where each soldier was a general, 
and its effectiveness was one of the marvels of a century 
of intolerance. The prisoners virtually threw down the 
glove. They had all been banished with the assurance that 
if they returned death awaited them. They returned in 
face of the law and menace, their excuse being that they had 
been so commanded by the Lord. Endicott, who listened 
to this plea, was frankly nonplused, and doubtless did not 
desire to go to the last extreme. 

When they were brought before the magistrates, the lat 
ter said, "We desire not your death. We have made many 
laws and endeavored in several ways to keep you from 
among us, but neither whipping or punishment, nor cutting 
of ears (Holder and Copeland), nor banishment upon pain 
of death will keep you from among us." This was the pre 
lude, then follows "Hearken now to your sentence of 
death." Robinson asked to read a paper explaining why 
they came, but the magistrates and Endicott refused to 
listen, and they were sentenced. Mary Dyer was then 
brought out, and Endicott pronounced sentence upon her: 
"Mary Dyer, you shall go from here to the place from 
where you came, and from thence to the place of execution, 
and there be hanged until you be dead." "The Lord s will 


be done," replied the minister of the Quakers. "Take her 
away, marshal," replied Endicott and she was led away, 
praying to the Lord. 

The Quakers had many sympathizers in Boston, and there 
were many protests. Governor Winthrop came from Con 
necticut to protest against this crime of the century. He 
said he would go down on his knees to stop it, if necessary. 
Colonel Temple, Governor of Arcady and Nova Scotia, filed 
his protest with the authorities, and many more, but with 
out avail. The Quakers practically shut themselves out, as 
a number of Friends, among whom were Daniel Gould of 
Newport, William King, Hannah Trask, Robert Harper of 
Sandwich, Provided Southwick (later offered for sale as a 
slave), Margaret Smith and Alice Cowland, had walked 
from Salem, bearing grave clothes, announcing to the 
authorities of Boston that they had come at the behest of 
the Lord, "to look your bloody laws in the face." 

Endicott planned to execute Robinson and Stephenson, 
and to carry the execution of Mary Dyer to the moment be 
fore death, hoping that she would weaken or recant; as they, 
doubtless, felt some qualms of conscience or fear of the ef 
fect of hanging a woman. Tt was designed to have a pre 
tended reprieve arrive at the last moment, which shows that 
they did not understand Mary Dyer. The 2yth of October, 
1659, was set as the day of execution, and hundreds of peo 
ple came in from the surrounding country, men and women 
who had been involved in witchcraft charges, clergymen and 
laymen. The following is a letter written by William 
Robinson : 

"On the 8th day of the 8th Month, in the after part of 
the day, Travelling betwixt Newport in Rhode Island and 


Daniel Gould s house, with my dear brother, Christopher 
Holder, the Word of the Lord came expressly to me, which 
did fill me immediately with Life and Power, and heavenly 
Love, by which he constrained me, and commanded me to 
pass to the Town of Boston, to lay down my life, in his 
Will, for the Accomplishing of His service, which He had 
to be performed at the Day appointed. To which Heavenly 
voice I presently yielded Obedience, not questioning the 
Lord how He would bring the Thing to pass, since I was a 
Child, and Obedience was Demanded of me by the Lord, 
who filled me with living Strength and Power from His 
heavenly Presence, which at that time did mightily Over 
shadow me, and my Life at that time did say Amen to what 
the Lord required of me, and had Commanded me to do, and 
willingly was I given up from that time, to this Day, to do 
and perform the Will of the Lord, whatever became of my 
Body; for the Lord had said unto me, thy Soul shall rest in 
everlasting Peace, and thy Life shall enter into Rest, for 
being Obedient to the God of thy life. I was a Child, and 
durst not question the Lord in the least, but rather was 
willing to lay down my Life, than to bring Dishonour to the 
Lord; and as the Lord made me willing, dealing Gently and 
Kindly with me, as a Tender Father by a Faithful Child, 
whom he dearly Loves, so the Lord did deal with me in 
Ministering his Life unto me, which gave and gives me 
strength to perform what the Lord required of me ; and still 
as T did and do stand in need, he Ministered and Ministreth 
more Strength, and Virtue, and heavenly Power and Wis 
dom, whereby I was and am made strong in God, not fear 
ing what Man shall be suffered to do unto me." 

Marmaduke Stephenson also left a letter written a short 


time previous: "In the beginning of the year 1655, I was 
at the Plough in the east parts of Yorkshire in Old England, 
near the place where my Outward Being was, and as I 
walked after the Plough, I was filled with the Love and the 
Presence of the Living God which did Ravish my Heart 
when I felt it; for it did increase and abound in me like 
a Living Stream, so did the Love and Life of God run 
through me like precious Ointment, giving a pleasant 
Smell, which made me stand still; and as I stood a little 
still, with my Heart and Mind stayed on the Lord, the 
Word of the Lord came to me, in a still, small voice, 
which I did hear perfectly, saying to me, in the Secret 
of my Heart and Conscience, I have Ordained Thee 
a prophet unto the Nations. And at the hearing of the 
Word of the Lord I was put to a stand, being that I was but 
a Child for a Weighty Matter. So at the time appointed, 
Barbadoes was set before me, unto which I was required of 
the Lord to go, and leave my dear loving Wife and tender 
Children; For the Lord said unto me immediately by his 
Spirit, That he would be a Husband to my Wife, and as a 
Father to my Children, and they should not want in my 
Absence, for he would provide for them when I was gone. 
And I believed that the Lord would perform what he had 
spoken, because I was made willing to give up myself to his 
Work and Service (with my dear Brother) under the 
Shadow of his Wings, who hath made us willing to lay 
down our Lives for His own name Sake. So, in Obedience to 
the Living God, I made preparation to pass to Barbadoes in 
the 4th month, 1658. So, after some time, I had been on the 
Island in the Service of God, I heard that New England had 
made a Law to put the Servants of the Living God to death, 


if they returned after they were sentenced away, which did 
come near to me at that time ; and as I considered the Thing, 
and pondered it in my Heart, immediately came the Word 
of the Lord unto me, saying, Thou knowest not but that 
thou mayst go thither. But I kept this Word in my Heart, 
and did not declare it to any until the time Appointed. So, 
after that, a Vessel was made ready for Rhode Island, which 
I passed in. So, after a little time that I had been there, 
visiting the Seed which the Lord hath Blessed, the Word of 
the Lord came unto me, saying, Go to Boston, with thy 
Brother, William Robinson. And at His Command I was 
Obedient, and gave myself up to do His will, that so His 
work and Service may be accomplished; For, he had said to 
me, That he had a great Work for me to do; which is now 
to come to pass ; And for yielding Obedience to, and obeying 
the Voice and Command of the Everlasting God, which 
created Heaven and Earth, and the Fountains of Waters, 
Do, I, with my dear Brother, suffer outward Bonds near 
unto Death. And this is given forth to be upon Record, 
that all people may know, who hear it, That we came not in 
our own Wills, but in the Will of God. Given forth by me 
who am known to Men by the name of 

Marmaduke Stephenson, 

But who have a new name given me, which the World 
knows not of, written in the book of Life. 
* Written in Boston prison 
in the 8th month, 1659." 

Boston was the scene of great excitement on the day of 

*These letters of Robinson and Stephenson are interesting as show 
ing how positive was their belief that God spoke directly to them. 


execution. Troops were distributed about to quell rioting. 
Early in the morning a crowd assembled at the prison and 
Robinson spoke to them through the prison bars, so enraging 
the jailer that he charged them, bowling them over, striking 
them down, placing them all in a dark cell. Captain 
James Oliver had charge of the troops. The two men were 
ironed and with Mary Dyer between them, the march to the 
Common was taken up, the band playing, the mob hooting, 
and threatening according to their views. Mary Dyer took 
the hands of her fellows and was rebuked by the marshal; 
she replied, that "it is an hour of the greatest joy I can en 
joy in this world." The prisoners tried to speak, but when 
they began the marshal ordered the drums to be beaten to 
deaden their words. The procession stopped at an elm tree 
on the common, near the Hollis Street Church, and as the 
men stood with their hats on, they were taunted by the Rev 
erend Wilson, who presents a melancholy spectacle in that 
connection. A ladder was placed against the tree and the 
prisoners having the rope about their necks, were forced to 
climb upward, the end was thrown over the limb and fast 
ened. William Robinson was killed first, and just before 
they jerked the ladder away to let him swing, he cried out so 
all could hear, "I suft er for Christ, in whom I have lived and 
for whom I die." Stephenson, as he stood on the ladder, 
said, "Be it known unto all this day that we suffer not as 
evil doers, but for conscience sake." This, and the ladder 
was jerked aside and he swung into eternity for insisting 
upon the right of a free conscience in Boston in 1659. 

The bogus execution of Mary Dyer, ((the ancestor of 
Governor Elisha Dyer of Rhode Island in the nineteenth 
century) now proceeded. She had been standing by the 


ladder with the rope about her neck, awaiting her turn, 
watching the execution of her companions. Her limbs were 
tied, and the Reverend Mr. Wilson, her old pastor, doubt 
less knowing that it was a farce, yet went so far as to throw 
his handkerchief over her face. She was forced up the lad 
der and stood for a moment awaiting the summons while the 
men in the secret watched her with amazement, wonder and 

No regret, nothing apparently but joy at the anticipation 
of joining her dead companions; no resentment, only the 
embodiment of courage, bravery and religious faith, this 
good woman believing that she was gazing into eternity. 
The executioner placed his hand upon the ladder as he had 
done with Robinson and Stephenson; was apparently about 
to push it aside, when a shout came down the wind "A re 
prieve! a reprieve!" and the sordid, brutal joke or farce, 
ended. In the records of Massachusetts Colony IV-part page 
384, is found the following, showing that it was a part of 
the order of the court : 

"It is ordered that the said Mary Dyer shall have liberty 
for forty-eight hours to depart out of this jurisdiction, after 
which time, being found therein, she is to be forthwith exe 
cuted. And it is further ordered that she shall be carried to 
the place of execution and there to stand upon the Gallows 
with a rope about her neck until the Rest be executed; and 
then to return to the prison and remain as aforesaid." 

The prisoner was taken down and carried back to the 
House of Correction. The reprieve which had been written 
some days previous is as follows : 

"Whereas Mary Dyer is condemned by the General Court 
to be executed for her offences, on the petition of William 


have liberty for forty-eight howers after this day to depart 
Dier, hir sonne, it is ordered that the said Mary Dyer shall 
out of this jurisdiction, after which time, being found there 
in, she is forthwith to be executed, and in the meane time 
that she be kept a close prisoner till hir sonne or some other 
be ready to carry hir away within the aforesaid tyme; and 
it is further ordered, that she shall be carried to the place 
of execution, and there to stand upon the gallows, with a 
rope about her necke, till the rest be executed, and then to 
returne to the prison and remain as aforesaid." 

Later when this was read to her, she sent this message to 
the General Court : "My life is not accepted, neither avail- 
eth me, in comparison with the lives and liberty of the 
Truth and Servants of the living God, for which in the 
Bowels of Love and Meekness I sought you ; yet nevertheless 
with wicked Hands have you put two of them to Death, 
which makes me feel that the Mercies of the Wicked is 
cruelty. I rather chuse to Dye than to live, as from you, 
as Guilty of their Innocent Blood." 

The officials were now determined to get rid of her, so 
they placed her on a horse which was led by some soldiers 
into the forest, and forced to leave the colony. Later she 
sailed to Shelter Island where in the home of Nathaniel 
Sylvester, she found rest with Lawrence and Cassandra 
South wick.* 

Public opinion had been so aroused in Boston and Eng 
land by the hanging of the American Quakers that Endicott 

*The only crime that can be traced to the Dyers is the naming of 
one of their sons Mahershallalkashbaz, for which information I am 
indebted to Horatio Rogers, late Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Rhode Island and lineal descendant of Governor Walter 
Clark, the famous Quaker governor of Rhode Island. 


and his supporters put forth every effort to vindicate them 
selves, and this defense took the form of a Declaration of 
the General Court of Massachusetts, held at Boston, 
October 1 8, 1 659, concerning the execution of two Quakers. 
This paper disappeared, but was found by Mr. Louis Dyer* 
of Oxford, England, in the Bodleian Library. The Procla 
mation is as follows : 

"A Declaration of the General Court of the Massachu 
setts, Holden at Boston in New England, October 18, 1659, 
Concerning the execution of two Quakers. 

"Although the justice of our proceedings against William 
Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer, Sup 
ported by the Authority of this Court, the Lawes of the 
Country; and the Law of God, may rather persuade us to 
expect encouragement from all prudent and pious men, than 
convince us of any necessity to Apologize for the same, yet 
for such as men of weaker parts, out of pitty and com 
miseration (a commendable and Christian virtue, yet easily 
abused and susceptible of sinister and dangerous impres 
sions) for want of full information, may be less satisfied, & 
men of perverser principles, may take occasion hereby to cal 
umniate us, and render us as bloody persecutors, to satisfie 
the one and stop the mouth of the other, we thought it 
requisite to declare. That about three years since divers 
persons professing themselves Quakers (of whose pernic 
ious Opinions and Practices we had received Intelligence 
from good hands, from Barbadoes to England), arrived at 
Boston, whose persons were only secured to be sent away by 
the first opportunity, without censure or punishment, al 
though their professed tenets, turbulent and contemptuous 
behaviour to Authority would have justified a severer ani- 


madversion, yet the prudence of this Court was exercised 
onely in making provision to secure peace and order here 
established against their attempts whose design (we were 
well assured of by our own experience, as well as by the ex 
ample of their predecessors in Munster) was to undermine 
and ruin the same, And accordingly a Law was made and 
published prohibiting all Masters of Ships to bring any 
Quakers into this jurisdiction and themselves from coming 
in on penalty of the House of Correction till they could be 
sent away. Notwithstanding which by a back door -they 
found entrance, and the penalty inflicted on themselves, 
proving insufficient to restrain their impudent and insolent 
obtrusions, was increased by the loss of the ears of those that 
offended the second time, which also being too weak a de 
fense against their impetuous fanatick fury, necessitated us 
to endeavor our security, and upon serious consideration 
after the former experiments, by their incessant assaults, a 
Law was made that such persons should be banished on pain 
of death, according to the example of England in their pro 
vision against Jesuits, which sentence being regularly pro 
nounced at the last Court of Assistants against the parties 
above named, and they either returning or continuing pre 
sumptuously in this jurisdiction, after the time limited, were 
apprehended, and owning themselves to be the persons ban 
ished, were sentenced (by the Court) to death, according to 
the Law aforesaid which hath been executed upon two of 
them. Mary Dyer, upon the petition of her son and the 
mercy and clemency of this court, had liberty to depart 
within two dayes, which she hath accepted of. 

"The consideration of our gradual proceeding, will vindi 
cate us from the clamorous accusations of severity ; our own 


just and necessary defense calling upon us (other means 
fayling) to offer the poynt, which these persons have 
violently and wilfully rushed upon, and thereby become 
felons de se, which might it have been prevented and the 
Soveraign Law Salus populi been preserved, our former 
proceedings, as well as the sparing Mary Dyer, upon an in 
considerable intercession, will manifestly evince, we desire 
their lives absent, rather than their death present. 

Printed by their order in New England, 

Edward Rawson, Secretary. 
Reprinted in London, 1659." 

To reply to this aspersion undoubtedly drew Mary Dyer 
to Boston and her death. She arrived on the scene of her 
former trials May 21. 1660, and was promptly arrested and 
taken before Governor Endicott. "Are you the same Mary 
Dyer that was here before V" queried Endicott. "I am the 
same Mary Dyer that was here at the last General Court," 
she replied. "Then," answered the Governor, "sentence 
has been passed upon you, and you must prepare for execu 
tion tomorrow." To this she replied, "I came in obedience 
to the will of God to the last General Court, desiring you to 
repeal your unrighteous laws of banishment on pain of 
death; and that same is my work now, and earnest request, 
although I told you that if you refused to repeal them the 
Lord would send others of his servants to witness against 

Every effort of son, father, and others was made to save 
her. The following letter was written by her husband, now 
a manuscript in the archives of the state : 


"Honored Sir. 

"It is with no little grief of mind, and sadness of heart 
that I am necessitated to be so bould as to supplicate yor 
Honoured self wth the Honble Assembly of yor Generall 
Courte to extend yor mercy and favoure once agen to me & 
my children. Little did I dream that ever I should have 
had occasion to petiton you in a matter of this nature, but 
so it is that throu the devine providence and yor benignity 
my sonn obtayned so much pitty and mercy att yor hands as 
to enjoy the life of his mother, now my supplication to yor 
Honors is to begg affectionately, the life of my deare wife. 
Tis true I have not seen her above this half yeare & there 
fore cannot tell how in the frame of her spiritt she was 
moved thus againe to runn so great a Hazard to herself, and 
perplexity to me & mine & all her friends & well wishers: 
so itt is from Shelter Hand about by Pequid Narragansett 
& to the Towne of Providence she secrettly & speedyly 
journeyed, & as secrettly from thence came to yor jurisdic 
tion, unhappy journy may I say, & woe to that generation 
say I that gives occasion thus of grief & troble (to thos that 
desire to be quiett) by helping one another (as I may say) to 
Hazard their lives for I know not what end or to what pur 
pose: If her zeale be so greatt as thus to adventure, oh 
Lett yor favoure & Pitty surmount ett & save her life. Lett 
not yor forwonted compassion bee conquered by her incon 
siderate madness, & how greatly will yor renowne be spread 
if by so conquering you become victorious. What shall I 
say more ? I know you are all sensible of my condition, 
and lett the reflect bee, and you will see whatt my petition 
is and what will give me & mine peace, oh Lett mercies 
wings once more sore above justice ballance, & then whilst 


I live shall I exalt yor goodness butt other wayes twill be a 
languishing sorrow, yea so great that I shuld gladly suffer 
the blow att once much rather; I shall forbeare to trouble 
youre Honr wth words neyther am I in a capacity to ex- 
patiat myself att present : I only say that yourselves have 
been & are or may bee husbands to wife or wives, so am I, 
yea to one most dearly beloved : oh do not deprive me of her, 
but I pray give her me once agen & I shall be so much 
obleiged for ever, that I shall endeavor continually to utter 
my thanks and render yor Love & Honr most renowned: 
Pitty mee, I begg itt with teares, and rest yor 

most humbly supplicant 

W Dyre 

"Portsmo 2yth, of 3d: 1660 

"Most Honed Sr Lett these lines by yor favor bee my 
Petiton to yor Honble Generall Court: at present Sitting 

sd W D " 

The day of execution was June i, 1660, and a repetition 
of the former scene was gone through, this time without the 
farcial reprieve. As Mary Dyer stood on the ladder, she 
was told that she would be given her liberty if she would 
go home and remain away from the colony. Her reply 
was, "Nay, I cannot, for in obedience to the will of the Lord 
God I came, and in His will I abide faithful to death." 
Captain John Webb warned her that she was guilty of her 
own blood, and there were many in the crowd, particularly 
the clergy, who were more than pleased to see the execution, 
and many more who resented the act, legal, though it was 


an outrage. Among them was Captain Wanton* an officer 
of the Guard, who the next day put away his sword and be 
came a Quaker, overwhelmed by the marvelous faith of this 
pure wife, mother and Quaker, who so gladly gave up her 
life for principle. 

She stood on the ladder and was speaking of the eternal 
happiness she was about to inherit, when the ladder was 
pulled away and her body swung in the wind. It is said 
that it was thrown into a ditch and lies unmarked in Boston 

It might be assumed that the execution of Mary Dyer 
would have satisfied the officials, but in 1660 they continued 
the treatment they had been serving out to the Quakers. 
Unquestionably Endicott, Wilson, Cotton and the leaders 
in the violent attacks on the Quakers were actuated by a 
feeling that they were in a sense a dire menace to the colony. 
The same Puritans had just emerged from the witchcraft 
delusion, and it is easy to understand how they could be 
come terrorized by the term Quaker, that had been painted 
in the blackest terms by English writers. 

In this year, one of the most flagrant atrocities was the 
arrest of William Leddra of Barbados. He was kept in 
an open jail in mid-winter, chained to a log, probably in the 
hope that he would die. He was given a trial in January, 
1661, and, though he appealed to England, was sentenced 
to be hung, and was executed on the Common, despite the 

*This Edward Wanton was the ancestor of several Governors 
Wanton of Rhode Island, whose pictures may be seen in the Newport 
Library, and in the City Hall of Providence, Rhode Island. A 
descendant of these distinguished men is Mrs. Russell Sage, of New 


efforts of Edward Wharton and others to save him. So died 
William Leddra, saying to a friend in the crowd, "Know 
this day that I am willing to offer up my life for the witness 
of Jesus." Edward Wharton was beaten and banished; 
then came the case of Wenlock Christison in 1661, his trial 
and sentence to death. But the end of the Puritan govern 
ment was at hand. Charles the Second intervened, and the 
day before the one set for his execution, Christison was re 
leased with twenty-seven Quakers, who had been languish 
ing in the jails of the colony. Among them were John 
Chamberlain, John and Margaret Smith, Mary Trask, 
Judith Brown, Peter Pearson, George Wilson, John Burs- 
tow, Elizabeth Hooton, Mary Mall ins, Joan Brocksoppe, 
Katherine Chattam, Mary Wright, Hannah Wright, Sarah 
Burden, Sarah Coleman and three or four of her children, 
Ralph Allen, William Allen and Richard Kirby. 

The Society of Friends progressed rapidly without any 
factions or internal dissensions until 1827, when an ominous 
break occurred over the doctrines of Elias Hicks. As a re 
sult, the Society separated into two distinct bodies, known 
to the public as Orthodox and Hicksite, though they both 
claimed the old name, "The Religious Society of Friends." 
The cause of the schism was Elias Hicks, a popular Long 
Island minister, whose preaching was so liberal that he soon 
began to be criticised by the conservative members, who 
claimed that he denied or questioned the divinity of Christ, 
the doctrines of the Atonement, and the inspiration and 
authority of the Bible. The friends and adherents of 
Hicks replied that the others were too arbitrary, that the 
Friends were being fatally decimated by them. Hicks 
was a gifted and magnetic speaker, very influential, hence 


he succeeded in throwing the Society into a chaotic condition 
from which it never fully recovered; and to-day the Hicks- 
ites are looked upon as Unitarians by Orthodox Friends, 
though still retaining the outward guise of the original 

The separation was complete and occasioned much hard 
feeling, especially when the question of the division of 
property was concerned. In Philadelphia and New York, 
Hicks drew away two-thirds of the Friends, and in Balti 
more, after the schism, it was found that the Orthodox party 
represented but one-fifth of the former number. In Ohio 
the division was about equal, but in Indiana the effect of 
the Hicksite doctrine was hardly felt. New England and 
South Carolina Friends remained steadfast. The Hicksite 
faction was never recognized by the English Friends, and 
to-day the two factions stand side by side, the Hicksites 
claiming to be Quakers, and the Orthodox Friends looking 
upon them as Unitarians in the Quaker garb. 

There are at present seven Yearly Meetings of Hicksite 
Friends in America. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Indiana and 
Illinois, Ohio, Canada and New York representing about 
twenty-one thousand members. They have a number of 
schools, a college, "Swarthmore," and a weekly paper, the 
"Friends Intelligencer." 

There have also been slight differences between the Orth 
odox Friends in America. Joseph John Gurney visited 
America and made a profound impression on the Friends. 

* V 

The views of Gurney were in no sense opposed to the funda 
mental interpretation of the Scriptures by Fox; but he was 
a progressive, and his broad and liberal views shocked some 
of the old and very conservative Friends, who resented his 


attitude. One, John Wilbur, a New England ultra-con 
servative, was their chief mouthpiece. As a result, the 
Friends divided, some being called Gurneyites and others 
Wilburites; but the schism was not as important as the 
one caused by Elias Hicks. The London Meeting stood by 
Joseph John Gurney, and gave the Progressives its official 
recognition. The division occurred in 1845 m New Eng 
land, and in Ohio in 1854, the result being that in six Yearly 
Meetings there were two factions. At the present time 
thirteen progressive meetings are connected with the Lon 
don and Dublin meetings, through official correspondence, 
representing about ninety thousand members. There are 
six Wilburite meetings (Conservative) with a membership 
of forty-five hundred. 

It is interesting to observe that Philadelphia is not in 
cluded in these, though through Yearly Meetings it did rec 
ognize the Ohio Wilburites, but later withdrew, very wisely 
considering that the main issue of Quakerism was too im 
portant to endanger the Society by discussions over what 
were at best mere trivialities. Philadelphia then stood 
alone and is to-day considered the home of broad but Con 
servative Quakerism with a membership of about four thous 
and eight hundred. 

It has been pointed out in previous pages that non-es 
sentials were often the cause of the greatest trouble among 
the Friends. This seems to have been a pseudo fundamen 
tal weakness. In a word, a sect dominated by the best pos 
sible motives, a religion based on the purest ideals, and con 
taining the ethics of the highest philosophy, is suddenly con 
vulsed or disturbed by a cataclysm, childish in its nature. 
This is well demonstrated by the Gurney schism. Joseph 


John Gurney was a man of the highest culture, who has left 
his impress on the American Quakers; but one of his great 
est crimes was in carrying a Bible to meeting, and reading 
from it. This dangerous innovation was seized upon, and 
became a red flag among the Wilburites, who pointed out 
that it savored of priests and the world, urging that a min 
ister should not have aid at a meeting or go prepared, or as 
they quaintly expressed it, "go before the guide." 

Hicks was charged by some with repudiating the Bible, 
and Gurney, in a sense, was said to have repudiated the in 
ner light, the informing spirit. He was not content to sit 
in silence and wait for the word to come to him, he must 
have the Bible to read from, as he used it in the Friends 
School at Ackworth, England, where he endeavored to en 
courage the students to study the Bible, and to use it as their 

The conservative or Wilburite doctrine taught that the 
inner light, the Divine Spirit, illuminated the mind from 
within and was the guide, the main essential, and should 
always have preference, and that the Scriptures came after. 
This non-essential occupied the Quakers in America during 
thirty years; and Joseph John Gurney, one of the most in 
tellectual members of the Society, was criticised and attacked 
mainly because he was suspected of preparing his discourses 
"in advance," which was far from a dependence on the inner 
light. The American Friends for seven years made every 
effort to induce the London Yearly Meeting to "silence" 
Gurney, but without avail. The prominence of Wilbur 
was due to the fact that he was the defacto leader of the 
Conservative party. Wilbur s platform argument or favor 
ite questions were: 


1. Whether justification precedes or follows sanctifica- 

2. The true reason for observing the First Day of the 
week, instead of the seventh. 

3. Whether in the next world we will be given natural 
or spiritual bodies. 

4. Whether the Holy Spirit or the Bible is the true 
religious guide. 

These four cardinal points of disagreement are the chief 
ones held against Gurney, and as it was evident that none of 
them were by any possibility answerable, it was plainly to 
be seen that the controversy would sooner or later die a 
natural death. Yet it is a melancholy fact that it persisted 
for years. Several good things came out of the various con 
troversies. Thorugh the influence of Joseph John Gurney a 
Bible society was formed in England, in which movement he 
was joined by several English bishops, a movement which 
spread all over the world. As these lines are written the 
citizens of Southern California have raised a fund to place 
a Bible in the rooms of every public house in the State and 
are doing it. 

Elias Hicks, by no means as black as he is painted, ac 
complished one work of profound importance to the world, 
which even his most virulent critics will not deny: He se 
cured the passage of an act freeing the negro slaves in the 
State of New York. As to the breadth of his views, Hicks 
held that they were in accord with those of George Fox, and 
Worth says : "Judged by his sermons, Hicks was as ortho 
dox as one-half of the Protestant clergy of today" (1896). 

The Yearly Meeting, now known as a General Meeting, 
was first held in 1661, being called by George Rofe. He 


says: "We came in at Rhode Island and appointed a gen 
eral meeting for all Friends in these parts (meaning all New 
England), which was a very great meeting and very prec 
ious, and continued four days together, and the Lord was 
with his people and blessed them, and all departed in peace. 
There is good seed in that people, but the enemy keeps some 
under through their cruel persecution; yet their honesty pre 
serves them, and the seed will arise as way is made for the 
visitation of the power of God to have free liberty amongst 

No records are available of this General Meeting de 
scribed by John Rofe to Richard Hubberthorn; but George 
Bishop refers to it, 1661, in his quaint "New England 
Judged" : "About this time the general meeting at Rhode 
Island, about sixty miles from Boston, was set up." There 
is every reason for believing that these General Meetings 
continued with regularity yearly, from now on. John 
Burnyeat refers to it in 1661 as follows: "I took shipping 
for Rhode Island, and was there at their Yearly Meeting in 
1671, which begins the Ninth of the Fourth Month every 
year and continues much of a week, and is a general once a 
year for all Friends in New England." 

Rufus Jones, a distinguished student of history, son of 
the much beloved Eli and Sibyl Jones, to whom Friends are 
indebted for this interesting data, also quotes George Fox 
on the point in question, showing that the Yearly Meeting 
was begun in 1661 and continued without break. It would 
have been interesting to have attended this yearly Meeting; 
to have seen the distinguished Quakers on the "high seat." 
Here was Governor John Wanton, a famous preacher, in his 
scarlet cloak. Seven times this Quaker honored Rhode 


Island, and four terms he filled as deputy. The third term 
had not assumed the deadful menace it has attained in the 
twentieth century: a good man and true was kept in office 
as long as he would serve. And so Stephen Hopkins was 
the Quaker Governor for nine terms. He was also Chief 
Justice for many terms, and his name is the only Quaker 
signature on the Declaration of Independence. This is not 
exactly correct as he owned a slave and for this was dis 
owned by the Friends in 1774, so that while a Friend at 
heart he had been disowned two years previous to the plac 
ing of his signature on the Declaration of Independence. 

Here sat William Coddington, a founder of Rhode Is 
land; Nicholas Easton, who built the first house; Christopher 
Holder who owned fifty acres of land in the centre of New 
port and sold it for $500 and who bought the island of Pa 
tience from Roger Williams to give his daughter Mary as 
a wedding gift when she married the famous minister Peleg 
Slocum; Walter Clark might have been seen here, honored 
by the colony as Governor and with the Deputy Governor 
ship for three terms; John Easton, who argued and pleaded 
with King Philip for arbitration in place of war; Mary 
Dyer, forbear of the late Governor Genl. Elisha Dyer of 
Rhode Island, but few of the distinguished company who 
gave to America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries 
some of its greatest, best and strongest characters. 


Sir John Endicott, the Governor of Massachusetts Col 
ony, who was responsible for most of the atrocities, died in 
March, 1665, and immediately following his decease the 
General Court of Massachusetts was commanded by the 
Royal Commissioners to remove all disabilities from the 
Quakers, and permit them to enjoy life and liberty undis 
turbed and without molestation. It is rarely that the Quak 
ers displayed any trait that could be interpreted as vicious- 
ness, but Endicott had aroused them and carried his atroci 
ties to the limit, and they denounced him in fearless terms in 
book and pamphlet, and accomplished his downfall without 
striking a physical blow. 

The superstitious element already observed among them 
of prophesying against those who unjustly treated them, is 
seen here, a mild pseudo evil eye which was cast at the 
offender. It is very evident that they believed that the 
Lord would punish those who waged so relentless a war 
against his chosen people; and they did not fail to find evi 
dence to support them in the Gospel. 

Though the intervention of Charles the Second put a stop 
to the extreme Inquisition methods in the colonies, it did not 
prevent the zealous Puritans from creating the infamous 
Cart Tail Law, which consisted in fastening men and women 
to the tail of a cart, driving them half naked through the 
towns, beating them as they walked. The following is a 
warrant drawn up by a priest who acted as a magistrate in 
Dover : 


"To the Constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisbury, New- 
bury, Rowley, Ipswich, Wenham, Lynn, Boston, Roxbury, 
Dedham, and until these vagabond Quakers are carried out 
of this jurisdiction. 

"You and every one of you are required, in the king s maj 
esty s name, to take these vagabond Quakers, Ann Coleman, 
Mary Tompkins, and Alice Ambrose, and make them fast to 
the cart s tail, and driving the cart through your several 
towns, to whip them on their backs, not exceeding ten stripes 
apiece on each of them in each town, and so convey them 
from constable to constable, till they come out of this juris 
diction, as you will answer it at your peril: and this shall 
be your warrant. 

"Per me, 

"Richard Walden." 
"At Dover, dated, Dec. 22, 1662." 

Men and women were beaten in this way in various parts 
of New England. Elizabeth Hooton was sentenced to be 
beaten through three towns, in Cambridge, Watertown and 
Dedham, and was then placed on a horse and driven out 
into the wilderness in the winter. She returned to Boston 
to preach, and was beaten, half naked, through Roxbury 
and Dedham; and again and again, the last time, beaten 
almost to insensibility for coming to Boston to attend the 
funeral of Endicott in 1665. 

Space does not permit in this volume a description of all 
these horrors, nor is it the intention to give more than a few 
of the most flagrant. In 1 666, the era of barbarism seemed 
to have ended in the colonies. Orders came from the 
King, "To permit such as desire it to use the Book of Com 
mon Prayer, without incurring penalty, reproach, or dis- 


advantage; it being very scandalous," continues the admon 
ition, that any person should be debarred the exercise of 
their religion, according to the laws and customs of Eng 
land, by those who were indulged with the liberty of being 
of what profession they pleased." About a year after, a 
similar admonition was addressed to the government of Con 
necticut that, "All persons of civil lives might freely enjoy 
the liberty of their consciences, and the worship of God in 
that way which they think best." 

This effectually stopped the persecutions, and the Quak 
ers in America increased in numbers. In many towns, as 
Lynn, Hampton, Newport, Providence, Salem and others, 
they became among the most influential and respected citi 
zens, and convinced their most rabid opponents that their 
ways were ways of peace. 

In his Journal, 1671, George Fox says: 

"I mentioned before, that, upon notice received of my 
wife s being had to prison again, I sent two of her daughters 
to the king, and they procured his order to the sheriff of 
Lancashire for her discharge. But though I exepected she 
would have been set at liberty, yet this violent storm of per 
secution coming suddenly on, the persecutors there found 
means to hold her still in prison. But now the persecution 
a little ceasing, I was moved to speak to Martha Fisher, and 
another woman friend, to go to the king about her liberty. 
They went in the faith, and in the Lord s power; and he 
gave them favour with the king, so that he granted a dis 
charge under the broad seal, to clear both her and her estate 
after she had been ten years a prisoner, and premunired; 
the like whereof was scarce to be heard in England. I sent 
down the discharge forthwith by a friend; by whom also I 


wrote to her, to inform her how to get it delivered to the 
justices, and also to acquaint her, that it was upon me from 
the Lord to go beyond sea, to visit the plantations in Amer 
ica, and therefore desired her to hasten to London, as soon 
as she could conveniently after she had obtained her liberty, 
because the ship was then fitting for the voyage. In the 
meantime I got to Kingston, and staid at John Rous s till 
my wife came up. and then began to prepare for the voyage. 
But the yearly meeting being near at hand, I tarried till that 
was over. Many friends came up to it from all parts of the 
nation, and a very large and precious meeting it was; for the 
Lord s power was over all, and his glorious everlastingly re 
nowned seed of life was exalted above all. 

"After this meeting was over, and I had finished my 
services for the Lord in England, the ship, and the friends 
that intended to go with me being ready, I went to 
Gravesend the 12th of the 6th month. The friends that 
were bound for the voyage with me went down to the ship 
the night before. Their names were Thomas Briggs, Wil 
liam Edmundson, John Rous, John Stubbs, Solomon Eccles, 
James Lancaster, John Cartwright, Robert Widders. George 
Pattison, John Hull, Elizabeth Hooton, and Elizabeth 
Miers. The vessel we were to go in was a yacht, called the 
Industry, the master s name was Thomas Forster, and the 
number of passengers about fifty." 

The Industry reached Barbadoes August 12, 1671, and 
the little party began its labors at once, and in a congenial 
and receptive field, as the islands early had produced a num 
ber of converts to Quakerism, and had five meeting houses. 
Among other things, George Fox wrote a letter to the 
Governor, in which he defended the doctrine of the Quakers. 


From here George Fox sailed to Jamaica and then to 
America, landing on the coast of Maryland and making his 
way slowly to New England, arriving at Newport the 3oth 
of May, 1672, where he held meetings with John Burnyeat, 
John Cartright, George Pattison, John Stubbs, James Lan 
caster and Robert Widders. While in Newport, Fox began 
a temperance crusade, in all probability the first one inaug 
urated in the town. He was entertained by Governor East- 
on and importuned him and the magistrates to pass "a law 
against drunkenness and against them that sell liquors to 
make people drunk," also a law against fighting, swearing 
and dueling. 

While here, he was challenged to a theological discussion 
by Roger Williams, but the challenge did not reach him 
until he had started south. William Edmundson endeavor 
ed to take his place, and so successfully, that Roger Wil 
liams in describing him said that he had "a flash of wit, a 
face of brass, and a tongue set on fire, from the Hell of 
lyes and fury." George Fox traveled through Long Island 
where Christopher Holder joined him, and many of the old 
towns as Flushing, where stands the old Bowne House, were 
visited. In his Journal, he says "The same day James Lan 
caster and Christopher Holder went over the bay to Rye on 
the continent in Governor Winthrop s government, and had 
a meeting there." 

The growth and development of Quakerism was now ex 
tremely rapid. The three colonies of Plymouth, Massa 
chusetts and Maine had a population of forty thousand, and 
Rhode Island six thousand, many of whom were Quakers, 
and they captured many distinguished men, including the 
Wantons, Eastons, Scotts and Bulls, many of whom in later 


years were governors. In 1669 the Quakers practically con 
trolled the political situation, and in 1672 they elected to 
office the governor, deputy governor, all the magistrates, and 
completely controlled the political situation in Rhode 
Island. The Quakers here tried to carry out reforms, that 
are being fought for by commercial, banking and pri 
vate interests to-day. The American Peace Society is 
very active in 1913. Dr. David Starr Jordan, one of 
America s profound scientists, is devoting much of his time 
to arguments against the barbarism of war; and it is inter 
esting to note that, in 1677, when the Quakers were playing 
the game of politics, and placing their men in office in 
Rhode Island, their desideratum was not spoil, office, 
graft, influence or personal aggrandizement; but the oppor 
tunity to give emphasis to their peculiar doctrines. They 
used the political machinery of the colony of Rhode Island 
for that purpose, to emphasize the fact that war is a crime ; 
that the killing of men in battle is legalized murder ; that the 
slaughter of the young and agile men is a menace to poster 
ity and the virility of the nation. 

The World Peace Foundation* or the Peace Society to 
day has not stopped war; but when the Quakers captured 
Rhode Island two and a half centuries ago and elected all 
the officers, they put into operation for the first time since 

*In connection with attempts to produce peace, the efforts of Mr. 
Andrew Carnegie have endeared him not only to the thinking portion 
of the American people but to the world at large. Mr. Ginn, the 
American publisher of the publications of the World Peace Founda 
tion of Boston the efforts of Albert Smiley during many years of the 
Mohonk Conference are all suggestive that the ideas of the early 
Quakers two and a half centuries ago were anticipants of modern 
culture and ripe intelligence. 


Christianity began, a doctrine in which war had no part. 
Non-resistance, which overwhelmed Endicotf, became the 
law. Christians had forgotten that war was opposed to 
their primal principle. It was Maximilian, who, in the 
Diocletian reign, said when enrolled, "I cannot fight for 
any earthly consideration. I am now a Christian;" and 
Lactantius, the Latin, wrote, "To engage in war cannot be 
lawful for the righteous man, whose warfare is that of 
righteousness itself." In 1670, as in 1913, the Quakers re 
fused to fight; first because they were Christians and it was 
wrong; secondly, because war is a remnant of barbarism, a 
wholesale murder at the instigation of a few. One result of 
this policy was that Rhode Island during this period was 
singularly free from trouble with the Indians. 

One of the important New England settlements of Quak 
ers was that of Nantucket. Thomas Macy of Scituate was 
the first Friend to settle there with Edward Starbuck, Isaac 
Coleman and, doubtless, James Coffin, a son of Tristram 
Coffin, who became the first governor, from whom are de 
scended many of the notable Coffins of America to-day, as 
the late Charles F. Coffin of Lynn, Charles Albert Coffin, 
the distinguished President of the General Electric Com 
pany, Mr. Doak of Colgrove, and others, all descendants of 
Sir Tristram Coffin of England. Thomas Macy sought 
Nantucket that he might enjoy liberty of conscience and 
escape the tyranny of the clergy and those in authority. The 
population of Nantucket grew rapidly and on this island, in 
a sense isolated, were founded some of the most conspicuous 
of American Colonial Quaker families: Macy, Gardner, 
Hussey, Coffin, Starbuck, Holder, Mitchell, Swain, Wing, 
Bunker, Folger, and many more. 


Among the early arrivals were Richard Gardiner and 
wife, driven from Salem for attending Quaker meeting in 
1673. Stephen Hussey and John Swain were among the 
early Quakers prior to the building of a meeting house. 
Then came Thomas Story, Thomas Chalkley and John 
Richardson, ministers. The latter was brought to the island 
by Peleg Slocum, who married Mary Holder, the third 
great grandmother of Mrs. Russell Sage. John Richardson 
held a series of meetings in the home of Mary Starbuck, nee 
Coffin, which continued some time. The Nantucket Monthly 
Meeting was established on the i6th of May, 1780. 

In 1743 Nantucket was a flourishing place. About this 
time Daniel Holder, believed to be a great grandson of 
Christopher Holder, settled here, and became the first large 
ship-builder of the colony and of America. Edmund Peck 
came from England and visited the Island this year. He 
found three hundred families, three-fourths of them Quakers. 
The meeting house was large and commodious, with a capac 
ity of fifteen hundred "and it was very full when we were 
there." In 1755 Samuel Fothergill found fifteen hundred 
attending meeting. Whaling was then a prominent feature 
of the business life, and the annual catch by the Nantucket 
Quakers in 1743 realized one hundred thousand dollars. 

The Newport Yearly Meeting alone had an attendance 
now of nearly two thousand five hundred. The story of 
Quakerism in Nantucket has a pathetic interest ; its rise and 
fall was in every sense remarkable. In about 1800 the 
Society was at the flood-tide of its development. A large 
meeting house erected in 1730 stood on the corner of Main 
and Saratoga Streets, and this was used for sixty years, 

DESK <>! DANIEL llol.l>i:i 

S<rJ>Jy*+4 g.-2^4^ ?* //;. 




when a new building was planned on Broad Street, and the 
old meeting house re-built on Main Street. 

There were now two meetings and many Quakers, as the 
Macys, Rotches, Rodmans, Joys, Holders, Swifts, How- 
lands, Mitchells and Husseys, had become well-to-do, if not 
wealthy for the period, founding the many families which 
now figure in the records of the Colonial families of the 
United States. Henry Barnard Worth writes of this 

"The men and women sat, the elder folk facing the 
younger, from their rising seats, with faces grave beneath 
the stiff straight brim or dusky bonnet. On the highest 
seats, where the low partition boards sundered the men and 
women, there alone sat they whom most the spirit visited 
and spake through them and gave authority. 

"Yet unknown to themselves they had reached the pin 
nacle of their prosperity, and soon would begin the decline 
which would be steady and relentless, until they should dis 
appear from the Island. They heeded not the clouds that 
warned them of coming storms, but condemning all changes 
as dangerous, they sailed on in the cause given them two 
centuries before by George Fox, until stranded, shattered, 
and wrecked on one rock after another, they have almost 
vanished from the sea, and rival sects are now in undisputed 
dominion on the island." 

The colony grew rapidly in wealth, its fisheries became 
of national importance ; but it was not long before the Quak 
ers began to lose ground. The gradual development of the 
vast country attracted many, and the Macys, Starbucks, 
Rotches, Coffins, Howlands, Slocums, Holders and others 
began the great movements which carried these Nantucket 


families all over the country to the regions safe from the 
Indians. They went to Lynn, Boston, Maine, New York 
and the far West. In 1812 the French spoliations ruined 
many Quakers and caused them to migrate, having lost all 
their vessels and property. The regulations of the meetings 
were very severe, and were insisted on so rigorously that 
many members were lost from this cause. This was partic 
ularly true of disownments. A Friend wrote : "It has been my 
lot to see many cases of disownment of members from which 
my own feelings revolted, and in which the benevolent feel 
ings of valuable Friends appeared to have been violated to 
uphold the discipline. I have seen men of natural kindness 
and tendencies become hard hearted and severe. I have seen 
justice turned back and mercy laid aside." 

The causes were often more than trivial, and a perusal of 
an old record possessed by the author gives rise to wonder 
ment that anyone was left. Henry Barnard was disowned 
for going to sea in an armed vessel. A fundamental prin 
ciple of the Friends was opposition to war. Members were 
disowned for refusing to say "thou," for wearing buckles, 
for marrying out of the Society, for attending a place where 
there was music, for becoming a Mason, for "deviating in 
dress and address from the plainness of our profession." "H. 
B. G. had attended a marriage performed by a minister 
where there was music." "S. P. had sailed in a privateer." 
"W. G. H. had joined a company at a hall and was con 
cerned in a lottery." "C. G. Coffin married a woman not a 
member." "L. C. for frequenting a Methodist Society." 
"E. M. disowned for not paying his debts." A physician 
was disowned for certifying that a soldier was entitled to a 
pension. Quakers could attend a Gentile wedding at 


Nantucket, but during the act of marriage they could not 
remain in the room; if they did they were disowned, so, 
many looked in at the windows. At one wedding thirty 
persons left the room, but returned immediately after the 
ceremony. So strict an accounting, with no method of re 
plenishing the Society, began to tell on it. Most of the dis- 
ownments resulted from men or women marrying outside 
of the Society, an escape from a pernicious custom that 
would in time have caused the deterioration of the strongest 
people, or left its irrevocable physical stamp on them, as 
with the Jews. 

As the Quakers increased in the colony, they began to dif 
fer slightly, and three types were soon recognized, Nan- 
tucket, Wilburite and Gurneyite, a series of divisions that 
were ominous warnings to the Island Society. The bat 
tles of Hicks, Gurney and Wilbur swept the sea-girt island 
with all the earnestness capable among Friends, and the 
juggernaut of disownment was eternally in operation. As 
fast as Friends in Nantucket were suspected of Hicksite 
leanings, they were charged with "disorderly conduct" and 

Under this, Gilbert Coffin, Sylvanus Macy, Roland Hus- 
sey, Obed Barney, Daniel Mitchell, W. B. Coffin, Charles 
Pitman, Gideon Swain, Matthew Myrick, William Watson, 
Thomas Macy, Peter and Obed Macy and their wives were 
disowned. The disowned members established a Hicksite 
meeting on Main Street, which led a desultory existence, and 
finally failed, the members joining the Unitarian Church, 
which in later years was so rich that the edifice was built 
of mahogany. 

The Friends had hardly recovered from the Hicksite in- 


vasion when they found themselves engaged in a war of 
words with the Joseph John Gurney party, which lasted 
thirty years. The majority of Friends in Nan tucket joined 
the Wilburites; but the matter was at last brought before 
the New England Yearly Meeting at Newport in 1845 f r 
final adjudication. To anyone who did not understand the 
system upon which the Quakers conducted their meetings, it 
might have been assumed that it was a waste of time for the 
Wilburites to appeal to this highest ecclesiastical court, as it 
was well known that the Gurneyites were in the majority. 
The Friends do not vote at a meeting. A clerk is appointed, 
who is in a sense absolute in power. When a question 
comes up, he asks for opinions, and when all have been 
heard he decides as to the sense of the meeting, and makes a 
minute or record of it. There is no recall to this, no appeal 
to a higher court. The clerk is not required to pay any atten 
tion to the majority. He weighs the question as he sees fit, 
takes into account the age, education, the intelligence or 
spiritual reputations of the speakers ; in a word, endeavors to 
give the judicial sense of the meeting pro or con; and it 
sometimes happens that a small minority will win over a 
large majority. This being the case, a party desiring to win 
endeavors to secure the appointment of a clerk holding their 
general views, as there is no recall, nor could the defeated 
party go behind the decision of the clerk, which, it may be 
said, is generally just, judicial and fair. 

When the Wilburites reached Newport they bent all their 
endeavors to secure the appointment of Thomas B. Gould of 
Newport as clerk; but the clerk of the previous year, a 
Gurneyite, according to the rule, was obliged to preside at 
the new meeting. He found that it was the "Sense of the 


New Bedford and New York 


meeting," that he "should continue for another year," so he 
made a minute to that effect ; and soon found that it was the 
"sense of the meeting" that the Wilburites were to receive 
no encouragement. According to the rules, if the contest 
ants fail to secure the election of their choice for clerk, they 
must withdraw, this being the Quaker way of settling a 
division. Hence the Wilburites withdrew and organized 
the New England Yearly Meeting. The division was un 
fortunate in many ways, as the Friends fought their affairs 
out in the Courts. The Wilburites captured the Swansea 
Monthly Meeting building at Fall River. Both parties 
elected overseers, and both claimed it, but the Supreme 
Court gave it to the Gurneyites. In the course of this trial, 
the learned Judge Shaw said that "the unhappy division be 
tween the Wilburites and the Gurneyites rose from an ap 
prehension of the former that the latter were disseminating 
false doctrines, of which," he said, "there was no evidence." 

Worth, the historian of Nantucket, goes so far as to say 
that "A Friend told me the real cause came from the ill will 
which John Wilbur entertained towards Gurney, was due to 
the fact that when Wilbur visited England he was not al 
lowed to smoke in Gurney s house." Some very comical 
incidents occurred as the result of this schism. When a 
Wilburite, Thomas B. Gould, visited Nantucket and rose to 
speak in meeting, Cromwell Barnard, an elderly Gurneyite 
Friend arose and said, "Friend thee can sit down." Up rose 
Peleg Mitchell, a staunch Wilburite, who said in stentorian 
tones, "Friend thee can go on," and on the Friend went amid 
the tears of the women and the agitation of all. 

In 1845 a complete and irrevocable division took place in 
Nantucket, and the Gurney party, acting in accord with the 


Sandwich Monthly Meeting, called themselves the Nan- 
tucket Monthly Meeting of Friends. They secured the 
Abner Coffin house at first, and later rented the Hicksite 
meeting house. The Court had decided that the Wilbur- 
ites were the separatists, hence the Gurneyites had a judic 
ial claim to all property, and in Nantucket the singular and 
melancholy spectacle was witnessed of the minority ruling, 
as the Gurneyites had but eighty-eight members, and the 
Wilbur body numbered one hundred and forty, seventy- 
nine or eighty wavering. Nantucket was the only meeting 
in New England where the Gurneyites or liberals did not 

The Gurney Meeting now proceeded to exercise its powers 
by disowning the separatists, and about seventy-five repre 
sentatives of the leading families were virtually excommuni 
cated, among them the following historic names, whose de 
scendants have scattered all over the United States : Fred 
erick Arthur, Mary Arthur, James Austin, John Boadle, 
Hezekiah Barnard, Mary Barnard, Susan Barnard, Alex 
ander G. Coffin, Rachel Hussey, David G. Hussey, Eliza 
beth Hussey, Benjamin Hussey, Gorham Hussey, Lydia M. 
Hussey, Hepsibeth C. Hussey, Nancy Hussey, John L. Cof 
fin, Joseph G. Coleman, Phebe Coffin, Rebecca Coffin, Susan 
Coffin, John G. Coffin, Elizabeth Coffin, John Franklin Cof 
fin, Eliza Coleman, Anna Clark, James B. Coleman, Lydia 
Coleman, Elizabeth Clark, Sally Easton, Eliza Ann Easton, 
John Folger, Lydia Folger, Hannah Maria Gardner, Prince 
Gardner, Mary Gardner, Benjamin Gardner, Rachel Gard 
ner, Elizabeth Graham, Lydia G. Hussey, Lydia Monroe, 
Alice Mitchell, Moses Mitchell, David Mitchell, Peleg 
Mitchell, Mary S. Mitchell, Susan Mitchell, Mary Macy, 


Deborah Paddack, Eunice Paddack, Laban Paddack, Mary 
Paddack, John Paddack, Sarah Paddack, Micajah Swain, 
Hezekiah Swain, Lydia Swain, Obed B. Swain, Eunice 
Swain, Margaret Swain, Joseph B. Swain, Richard G. 

This extraordinary and deadly contest, fatal as far as the 
effect upon the Society at large, was waged for years. It 
even affected the dead, as by the Court s decision the Wil- 
burites lost their rights in the burial ground. By an agree 
ment they were at last allowed to use the south end of the 
lot; and to-day in this court of the dead, the melancholy 
spectacle is seen of rows of stones in the north end, monu 
ments of the Gurneyites who now believed in visible memor 
ials of the dead, while on the south end a marked and 
significant absence of any reminder, told the graphic story of 
the plain Wilburite dead, who believed that grave stones 
were vanities of a sinful world. In the Lynn burial ground 
a somewhat similar division may be seen over a cause which 
may also be classed as a "non-essential." 

The Gurney faction gradually faded away in Nantucket 
until the year 1867 when it was a memory, and the property 
was handed over to the New Bedford Monthly Meeting, a 
pathetic consummation of fruitless endeavor. The Wilbur- 
ites, at the separation of 1845, denounced the Gurneyites as 
"spurious" and the meeting proceeded to disown all the 
Gurneyites, among whom were Elizabeth Austin, Cromwell 
Barnard, Susanna Coleman, Deborah Coffin, Lydia Coffin, 
Lydia Fisher, Hannah Gardner, Robert B. Hussey, Hannah 
Hussey, Judith Hussey, Cyrus Hussey, Lydia Hussey, Ben 
jamin Mitchell, William Mitchell, Miriam Starbuck, 
Abigail Allen, Matthew Barney, Lydia Bunker, Robert Cof- 


fin, Herman Crocker, George Easton, William Hosier, 
Lyda Hosier, Obed Fitch, Kimball Starbuck, Rachel Swain, 
Abram R. Wing and Lydia Worth. This meeting was 
ultra-conservative compounded, and men and women were 
disowned for the slightest evasion of doctrines. A member 
who allowed a musical instrument in the house was dis 
owned, also several for neglecting meetings, marrying out of 
the meetings, for attending meetings of another society. The 
case of Narcissa B. Coffin illustrates the severe rule of the 
Wilburites. In 1858 this minute appears: "10 mo., 24, 
1858. This meeting after a time of weighty deliberation 
has united with the women in approving the gift and public 
appearance in the ministry of Narcissa B. Coffin." 

In 1864 she was charged with "going before her guide." 
In other words, she had the temerity to think of her sermon 
before she entered the meeting; that is, had prepared her 
self. The specific charge on the Nantucket records is : 

"7 mo., 28, 1864. She was deposed and silenced by the 
Nantucket Meeting for not keeping on the watch and abid 
ing in a state of humility and abasedness of self. Thus, 
one of the most remarkable of the New England women 
preachers was silenced for twenty-five years, being restored 
in Lynn in 1889 after all those who silenced her were dead. 

Aside from the Hicksite, Wilburite and Gurneyite 
factions there were further potentialities and fatalities 
which weakened the sect, as the Job Otis and Joseph Hoag 
controversy, a non-essential that hastened the end in Nan 

In 1868 the Meeting in Nantucket had dwindled down to 
such a small number that the separate meeting was given up, 
and the men and women held their meetings together. In 


1894 but one Wilburite was left in Nantucket. The meet 
ing house was sold to the Nantucket Historical Society ; and 
the valuable historical records placed in the hands of Pro 
fessor James W. Oliver of Lynn, where ten members of the 
meeting had moved and where scores of the descendants of 
Daniel Holder now lived, the immediate line being still 
Quakers, represented by Aaron Holder, the author s grand 

The Quakers of Nantucket were an extraordinary people. 
They were the founders and descendants of some of the most 
notable American Colonial families, but in the years be 
tween 1700 and 1900, or two hundred years, they complete 
ly disappeared from the island, the larger portion having 
migrated to the south and west to found the sturdy families 
who still serve under the militant but liberalized banner of 
George Fox all over the American continent. A more ex 
traordinary example of fatal austere efforts in the direction 
of complete moral perfection has never been seen. The 
slightest wavering was met with disownment. The unruly 
member, at the first suggestion of trouble, was amputated, 
lest he or she should infect the main body with the vanities 
of the world. Unquestionably those who remained or could 
remain were the elect, were so far as known morally perfect ; 
but the result would suggest that the system was, in Nan 
tucket at least, too rigorous for human nature in its present 
stage of development. 

The jail in this Quaker community was rarely used, and 
as late as 1870, I was told that it was falling into disuse, 
and that, when a prisoner was thrown into durance vile, he 
was placed on his honor not to escape. 



The ship "Woodhouse," whose extraordinary log has been 
given in a previous chapter, after landing Christopher Hold 
er and John Copeland in New England, proceeded to New 
Amsterdam with the rest of the Quaker ministers, who pro 
posed to start the campaign in a colony which virtually 
guaranteed religious liberty. The policy of the Dutch had 
been pre-eminently for toleration; and this had attracted, 
especially under the rule of Governor Stuyvesant, a large 
migration of Huguenots from France, of whom later, Bishop 
Provost, the first Episcopal Bishop of New York, was a 
descendant of the family of that name. There was a great 
invasion of Waldenses from Piedmont, together with Eng 
lish, Scotch, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Moravians and 
many more, all attracted by the promise of religious free 
dom, which had been practically guaranteed by the Amster 
dam Chamber of the West India Company in an address to 
Governor Stuyvesant. In this ponderous paper, we read, 
"The consciences of men," they say, "ought to be free and 
unshackled, so long as they continue moderate, peaceable, in 
offensive and not hostile to government. Such have been 
the maxims of prudence and toleration by which the magis 
trates of this city have been governed; and the consequences 
have been that the oppressed and persecuted from every 
country have found among us an asylum from distress. 
Follow in the same steps, and you will be blest." 

The "Woodhouse" party, composed of Richard Hodgson, 

N7 /;/ ///; A GRELLET 

\VIIJJ. [^f h OTCH 
\cir llttlford 


Richard Doudney, Mary Weatherhead, Dorothy Waugh 
and Sarah Gibbons, was the initial Quaker movement in the 
Dutch colony. The Dutch were supposed to be extremely 
friendly to these seekers after religious liberty, and there had 
been many migrations from Lynn, Massachusetts, under the 
leadership of Lady Moody, who reached Lynn from Eng 
land in 1640, and bought a large estate, now known as 
Swampscott, one of the most beautiful locations on the At 
lantic coast. Driven out by the bigotry of the Puritans, 
Lady Moody moved to Gravesend, and took many Lynn 
families with her, all of whom, according to Winthrop, were 
infected by the teachings of the Anabaptists. 

About forty Lynn families had preceded Lady Moody 
and had settled about Flushing, Jamaica, Oyster Bay and 
other towns. As the movement was made for religious free 
dom, it became in later years famous as a resort for Quakers. 

The "Woodhouse" Quakers landed at New Amsterdam. 
Captain Fowler at once paid his respects to Governor Stuy- 
vesant, and reported him "a man moderate both in words 
and action." But the Dutch Governor had his limitations, 
one of which was that he did not believe in the public ap 
pearance of women. This was demonstrated when Dorothy 
Waugh and Mary Weatherhead attempted to give a street 
meeting soon after their arrival. No time was wasted on 
the Quakers; they were arrested and thrown into jail: a 
very filthy one, if the accounts can be believed. In the 
Ecclesiastical records of New York appears the following 
interesting account of the first reception of Quakers: "On 
August 6th (or 12th) a ship came from the sea to this 
place, having no flag flying from the topmast, nor from any 
other part of the ship . . . They fired no salute before 


the fort. When the master of the ship came on shore and 
appeared before the Director-General, he rendered him no 
respect, but stood with his hat firm on his head, as if a 
coat! At last information was gained that it was a ship 
with Quakers on board. 

"We suppose they went to Rhode Island, for that is the 
receptacle of all sorts of riff-raff people and is nothing else 
than the sewer of New England. They left behind two 
strong young women. As soon as the ship had departed, 
these (women) began to quake and go into a frenzy, and 
cry out loudly in the middle of the street that men should 
repent, for the day of judgment was at hand. Our people, 
not knowing what was the matter, ran to and fro while one 
cried fire and another something else. The Fiscal seized 
them both by the head and led them to prison." 

The Quakers now discovered that toleration had no sig 
nificance in the Dutch colony, and that the Baptists and 
others had been violently abused. Richard Hodgson was 
arrested for preaching in Flushing, dragged to New York 
behind a cart and before Stuyvesant, and as an example 
of what the rest might expect, given a sentence of two years, 
hard labor. A few days later he was seen on the street 
chained to a wheelbarrow. Being innocent he refused to 
work, when he was stripped and beaten by a negro until 
he fell to the ground, and this was repeated. Then he was 
hung up to the ceiling by the hands, while a log of wood 
was attached to his feet to stretch him out. This was 
an illustration of the New York Inquisition which was a 
very good imitation of the original. This Quaker refused 
everything but liberty, as he was innocent; and doubtless 
he would have been killed by the treatment of Stuyvesant, 


had not the Governor s sister, Mrs. Bayard, secured his 
release. Everyone who entertained the Quakers was 
tabooed, and the Governor now carried the war into Long 
Island, where Lady Moody, who had become a Quaker, 
was using her house as a meeting, and was surrounded by 
migrant Lynn Quakers. 

Henry Townsend was found guilty of breaking the Con 
venticle Act, and members of the Tilton, Hart, Farrington, 
Thorn, Feak, Browne, Underbill and other families were 
persecuted here, to such an extent that the inhabitants of 
Flushing of all classes protested to the Governor, and de 
nounced the outrages. John Fisk says : 

"The names of thirty-one valiant men are signed to this 
document. I do not know whether Flushing has ever raised 
a fitting monument to their memory. If I could have my 
way I would have the protest carved on a stately obelisk, 
with the name of Edward Hart, town clerk, and the thirty 
other Dutch and English names appended, and would have 
it set up where all might read it for the glory of the town 
that had such men for its founders." 

As elsewhere, persecution resulted in the growth and 
strengthening of Quakerism. The Quakers increased rap 
idly in Long Island, and were visited by Christopher Holder 
and others of the "Woodhouse" party, who gathered into 
the Quaker fold many from other denominations. Gover 
nor Stuyvesant was ultimately silenced by public opinion, 
and Long Island particularly became famous as a hotbed 
of Quakerism, Flushing, Jamaica and Oyster Bay being 
settled by Friends. Shelter Island also was a famous re 
gion settled by the Quakers, Thomas Rous, Constant and 
Nathaniel Sylvester and Thomas Middleton, who opened 


their hearts and homes to the suffering Friends. At Shelter 
Island is found one of the very few monuments to the early 
Quakers. In the New England Historical and Genealogi 
cal Register I found the following description of this tomb, 
erected by Professor Horsford of Harvard: 

(On the Horizontal Tablet of the Table Tomb:) 

To Nathaniel Sylvester. 

First Resident Proprietor of the Manor of Shelter Island 
under grant of Charles Second A. D. 1666 (Arius). An 
Englishman, Intrepid, Loyal to Duty, Faithful to Friend 
ship, the Soul of Integrity and Honor, Hospitable to 
Worth and Culture, sheltering ever the persecuted for con 
science sake. The daughters of Mary and Phoebe Gardiner 
Horsford, Descendants of Patience, daughter of Nathaniel 
Sylvester and wife of the Huguenot Benjamin L Homme- 
dieu, in Reverence and Affection for the good name of their 
ancestor in 1884 set up these stones for a Memorial. 
1610 1680. 

Under the Table: 

A list of names of Descendants of Anne Brinley, of the 
female side. 

Succession of Proprietors. The Manhansett Tribe. The 
King. The Earl of Sterling, James Farrett, Stephen Good 
year, Nathaniel Sylvester, Giles Sylvester, Brinley Sylves 
ter, Thomas Deering, Sylvester Deering, Mary Catherine 
L Hommedieu, Samuel Smith Gardner, Eben Norton Hors 

On the South Steps are engraved the following names 
of friends of Nathaniel Sylvester who had become dis 
tinguished in various ways, as follows: 


Of the Sufferings for conscience sake of friends of 
Nathaniel Sylvester, most of whom sought shelter here, in 

George Fox, 

Founder of the Society of Quakers 

and his Follows, 

Mary Dyer, William Leddra, 

William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, 
executed on Boston Common. 

On East Steps : 

Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick Despoiled, im 
prisoned, starved, whipped, banished, Who fled here to die. 

On the North Steps : 

David Gould, bound to gun carriage and lashed. Ed 
ward Wharton, "The much Scourged." Christopher Holder, 
"The Mutilated." Humphrey Norton, "The Branded." 
John Rous, "The Maimed." Giles Sylvester, "The Cham 
pion." Ralph Goldsmith, "The Shipmaster." Samuel 
Shattuck, of the "King s Message." (These stones are a 

One of the well-known members of the Society in Flush 
ing was John Bowne, whose old house still stands. I vis 
ited it a few years ago, and saw the elm under which it is 
supposed George Fox and Christopher Holder preached. The 
Bowne house was, doubtless, the first meeting house in 
Flushing. Bowne was soon arrested as a "conventicle," 
and was actually banished to Holland by Stuyvesant, but 
was released by the West India Company and sent back. 
One of the first men he met in the streets was Stuyvesant, 


who "seemed much abashed by what he had done;" but he 
showed that he was a man by saying, "I am glad to see 
you safe at home." John Bowne replied, "I hope thou will 
never harm any more Friends." 

The result of Bowne s persecution brought from the West 
India Company a most decided rebuke to Stuyvesant, and 
a promise of toleration. The following year the English 
captured the colony from the Dutch, and in the agreement 
were the words "liberty of conscience in divine worship 
and church discipline." This was in 1664 and the Qua 
kers had since 1657 suffered much. In 1673 the Dutch 
again conquered the colony, losing it again in 1674. During 
all this period the Quakers increased, but underwent many 
trials, as they refused to take sides or fight; consequently, 
their motives were not always understood. 

John Burnyeat visited New York in 1671 and later 
George Fox, who in 1672, with Christopher Holder and 
James Lancaster, visited Rye, Gravesend, Flushing, and 
various towns in what is now Connecticut. Later still Sam 
uel Bownas visited this region, preaching in Hempstead. 
He was arrested at Flushing, bail being fixed at ten thou 
sand dollars. At this Bownas said, "If you make the bail 
three pence, I will not give it;" nor did he, the jury at last 
releasing him, though the Judge swore to send him to Eng 
land "chained to the deck of a man of war." 

In 1699 New York had a small meeting; the Quakers 
were rapidly increasing, but were often annoyed and ill- 
treated. Thomas Chalkley, Edmund Peckover, William 
Rickett and others visited New York, and slowly but surely, 
the Society increased; now suffering drawbacks, now surg 
ing ahead, establishing the principles of the Friends firmly 


and forming the base for the great interest in the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries. The highest point attained by the 
Friends in New York was in the nineteenth century, be 
tween 1825 and 1875. The Society was strong numerically, 
made up of the descendants of the old pioneers; and was 
an unacknowledged aristocracy of men and women of high 
cultivation and education that left a strong and enduring 
impression on the city and community, as there are very 
few old aristocratic families of New York that did not 
inter-marry with the great and rich Quaker families, which 
in cultivation and worth have been leaders. In 1850 the 
population of New York was ninety thousand, and the 
Friends meeting numbered eighteen hundred and twenty- 
six, living in the city proper. 

The following Quaker names had a definite influence in 
all affairs: Wood, Bowne, Murray, Eddy, Pearsall, Col 
lins, Lawrence, Underbill, Seaman, Franklin, Day, Mott, 
Tatum and many more, well known between 1800 and 1825. 
Robert Bowne was a lineal descendant of the original 
Thomas who was banished to Holland. It was Robert who 
gave a certain boy named John Jacob Astor his first position 
to "do chores," and "beat skins." Astor must have shown 
his ability early, as he received a dollar a day as a boy. 
Mr. William Waldorf Astor has a silver watch given the 
"boy" by Robert Bowne in 1785. On the back is the in 
scription, "Presented to J. J. Astor by R. Bowne, 1785." 
The Bownes became a wealthy family; a branch has set 
tled in Oregon. Walter Bowne was one of the early mayors 
of New York. Robert Murray was a famous New York 
Quaker. One of his sons was Lindley Murray, the author 
of the English Grammar. Murray Hill was named for this 


family. What is known as the "Murray Fund" of forty- 
one thousand dollars, added to by William N. Mott and 
David Sands, and now amounting to fifty thousand dollars, 
was originated by Lindley Murray. 

All these Friends were of the rigorous type. They kept 
to the old ways with a persistency that undoubtedly drove 
many a youth from the Society. In the early part of the 
nineteenth century, according to William Wood, men often 
wore their hats at the dinner table, and Emma Mitchell 
of Nantucket stated that she remembered seeing her hus 
band s father without his hat but once. William Wood, 
in his delightful paper entitled, "Friends of the Nine 
teenth Century," says, "Another old Friend, Thomas Hawk- 
hurst, once entered a room where some Friends were dining, 
exclaimed, throwing up his hands, O sorrowful, sorrow 
ful, a whole table full of men with their hats off. My 
uncle, John Wood, who was something of a wag, said he 
believed that Thomas Hawkhurst must have been born 
with his hat on." 

One of the first meeting houses in New York, was built 
in 1704, in Crown Street, or Little Green, later Liberty 
Street, where the Thorburns, Corses, Woods, Tabors, 
Thornes, Franklins, Leggetts, Pearsalls, Hicks, and Willets 
attended. Most of the New York Quakers lived in a fashion 
that was considered luxurious by some, and Willett Hicks 
was called the "Quaker Bishop" on account of his aristo 
cratic tendencies, his carriage and foot-man. He was one 
of the most eloquent of the Quaker preachers of his time. 

In 1802 there was presumably a Friends meeting house 
on Liberty Street, though it may have been the one men 
tioned above. It was surrounded by a burial ground. In 


1825 the Friends purchased property on Houston Street, 
east of the Bowery, and the burial ground was moved. In 
1849 the city crowded it out and it was removed to Jericho, 
Long Island. The Friends did not believe in monuments 
or even head stones, and a book of records alone told the 
story. In 1775 there was a meeting house on Queen Street, 
re-named Pearl, near Franklin Square, now lost in the 
shadow of giant buildings. This meeting house was 50x70 
feet, and was one of the features of the city. In an old 
advertisement of John Jacob Astor it is referred to. The 
complete advertisement is as follows: 



Next door but one to the Friends Meeting House, 









The old meeting houses in later years underwent many 
vicissitudes, and, during the Revolution, the Pearl Street 
building was seized and used by the British as a barracks. 
Next to the Pearl Street meeting was a Quaker school for 
boys and girls, under the care of the monthly meeting. In 
1870 a meeting was built in Hester Street, and in 1825 
another was built in Rose Street. Its dimensions were 
58x80 feet. In 1828 came the famous Hicksite division. 


The latter being in the majority, the Orthodox members 
were forced to give up the meeting houses, and to hold 
their meetings for a while in Rutger s Medical College. In 
1828 a meeting-house was built on Henry Street, between 
Market and Catherine; later the Jews bought it, and it was 
used as a synagogue. In 1835 Friends built a school on 
Henry Street, and a meeting-house on Orchard Street at 
an expense of forty-six thousand dollars, the contributors 
to the fund being William F. Mott, Samuel Mott (his 
brother), Jos. S. Shotwell, Benj. Clark, Robert I. Murray, 
Henry Hinsdale, John Hancock, Thomas Buckley, Wm. 
Birdsall, Samuel Wood, and his sons, Samuel S. and Wil 
liam, Lindley Murray, John Clapp, Joshua S. Underhill, 
and his sons, Abraham S., Walter and Ira B., J. and J. Hil- 
yard, Thos. Cock, John R. Willis, Stacy B. Collins. Smaller 
sums, from $100 down, were contributed by about one hun 
dred other members. In this latter class were included: 
Richard H. Bowne, Richard Lawrence, Wm. Cromwell, Ed 
mund H. Prior, Wm. B. Collins, Davis Sands, Pelatiah P. 
Page, Wm. R. Thurston, Deborah C. Hinsdale, John Had 
dock, Henry Mosher, and others. Twelve years later a 
larger school was built on a lot to the north of this, and 
here a monthly meeting was held until 1859. In this year 
the up-town movement was so pronounced that the Orchard 
Street meeting was given up, and Friends met in the chapel 
of Rutger s Female Institute on Madison Street, near Clin 

The New York Friends, like those of New England, 
were well educated and highly cultivated. This was due 
to the fact that they had an active "concern" for education, 
which found its expression in many ways, from boarding 


schools for boys and girls to schools for negro slaves, char 
ity and church schools and many more. The Friends founded 
the first non-sectarian charity school in New York. In 1798 
they established an association for the relief of the "sick 
poor," and in 1801 a school for poor children. The sub 
scribers to the relief society were Catherine Murray, Eliza 
beth Bowne, Sarah Robinson, Amy Bowne, Amy Clark, 
Elizabeth U. Underbill, Martha Stansbury, Jane Johnston, 
Susan Collins, Elizabeth Burling, Harriet Robbins, Sarah 
Tallman, Hannah Eddy, Ann Eddy, Agnes A. Watt, Sarah 
Collins, Elizabeth Pearsall, Mary R. Bowne, Rebecca Hay- 
dock, Lydia Mott, Penelope Hull, Mary Murray (Mrs. 
Perkins), Hannah Pearsall, Margaret B. Haydock, Sarah 
Haydock, Mary Pearsall Robinson, Ann Underbill, Caro 
line Bowne, Hannah Shelton, E. Huyland Walker, Sarah 
Hallet, Sarah Bowne Minturn, Mary Minturn, Jr., De 
borah Minturn Watt, Hannah Bowne, Ann Shipley, Han 
nah Lawrence, M. Minturn, Esther Robinson Minturn, May 
Dunbar, Mary Wright, Sarah Lyons Kirby, and Charlotte 

The Quakers devoted themselves to educational reform, 
establishing school after school, and are the founders of the 
public school system of New York to-day. The Public 
School Society of New York was organized in 1805, the 
meeting being called by Thomas Eddy and John Murray, 
Friends, and was held at the house of John Murray in Pearl 
Street. The following Friends have been identified with 
this work: Lindley Murray, Samuel F. Mott, Jos. B. Col 
lins, John L. Bowne, W. H. Barrow, Isaac Collins, Barney 
Corse, Mahlon Day, Jas. S. Gibbons, Whitehead Hicks, 
Geo. F. Hussey, Benj. Minturn, Geo. Newbold, W. T. 


Slocum, James W. Underbill, Robert W. Cornell, Willett 
Seaman, Walter Underbill, George T. Trimble, Joshua S. 
Underbill, Wm. S. Burling, Thos. Bussing, Matthew Clark- 
son, Benj. S. Collins, Isaac H. Clapp, Thomas Franklin, 
Samuel Hicks, Anthony P. Halsey, Edmund Kirby, John 
Murray, Jr., Wm. H. Macy, James B. Nelson, Jeremiah 
Thomson, Samuel Wood, Wm. Seaman, Joshua Underbill, 
Wm. Willis, Thomas Eddy, Thomas Buckley, Walter 
Bowne, Wm. Birdsall, Nathan Comstock, Richard Crom 
well, W. P. Cooledge, Matthew Franklin, Valentine Hicks, 
Henry Hinsdale, T. Leggett, Jr., Robert F. Mott, Samuel 
C. Mott, Benj. D. Perkins, Wm. R. Thurston, Jr., Edmund 
Willetts, Davis Sands, Ira B. Underbill, and Benj. Clark. 

In 1775 the New York Quakers organized a Society, the 
first, I think, for promoting the manumission of slaves. 
Samuel Wood, Israel Corse, Thomas Bussing, Edmund Wil 
letts, Henry Hinsdale, Robert Bowne, Samuel Franklin, 
George T. Trimble, Ira B. Underbill, were identified with 
it. Thomas Eddy, a Friend, was a founder of the first Sav 
ings Bank in New York. The Mission School for Colored 
Women, 1815, the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism, 
1816, the parent of the present House of Refuge, had 
Friends among the founders and promoters. In 1818 the 
Friends established a school for the benefit of negroes of 

The Collins family was thoroughly identified with all 
the large movements of uplift in early New York. Isaac 
Collins was crown printer for the colony of New Jersey. 
He printed in 1791 the first quarto Bible America had ever 
seen. In 1864 Rebecca Collins moved from Philadelphia 
and became a beloved minister. The ministers and elders 


of the New York meeting included some remarkable men 
and women, among whom were William F. Mott, Phoebe 
Mott, Rebecca Collins. Samuel F. Mott was one of the 
managers of the City Lunatic Asylum and a very strict 
Friend, yet a wag. Some one had proposed a dancing party 
for the lunatics to give them recreation, but the sugges 
tion was made that Samuel F. Mott would object, being a 
Quaker. To their surprise he agreed to it, remarking that 
he "thought dancing was just the thing for crazy people, 
being right in their line." 

At the head of their meeting for many years sat Thomas 
Hawkshurst, who had been a Revolutionary soldier. Other 
ministers were John Wood, Elizabeth Coggshall, Mahlon 
Day, Mary Kerr, Sarah E. Hawkshurst, Pelatiah P. Page 
and others. David Sands, Deborah Hinsdale, William 
Cromwell, Benjamin Tatum, Edward Marshall, Henry and 
Grace Dickinson, Augustus Taber, William H. Ladd, Wil 
liam Symmons and many more, types of fine men and 
women. Of these William H. S. Wood says: 

"Forty or fifty years ago the spiritual government and 
control of this meeting by the elders was no uncertain thing, 
and the most watchful care was taken that the exercise of 
the ministry was proper and to the edification of the con 
gregation. Oh, what elders there were in those days ! Rec 
ognized ministers were carefully guarded and helped. 
Those who felt called to speak in meeting were weighed in 
the balance, and if approved were encouraged; if not, were 
rarely permitted to break the silence. There were some of 
them who considered their own feelings a more sure pointing 
to duty than the combined discernment of the elders, but 
such were labored with kindly, but firmly, and only occas- 


ionally disturbed the meeting. Strangers, however, who 
undertook to speak in meetings, usually had a hard time of 
it, and when a suggestion from the gallery proved ineffectual 
in bringing such to their seats, at a signal from the elder 
some Friend would instantly rise and eject the transgressor. 
Such action was generally approved by the meeting. Pos 
sibly the advocates of women s rights in church administra 
tion might date the first official step in this direction in 
New York Yearly Meeting from the admission of women 
as members of the Representative Meeting. This was in 
1876, and at a meeting held in this house. It may be of 
historical interest to record here that the eight women thus 
honored were Mary S. Wood, Caroline E. Ladd, Ann M. 
Haines, Mary U. Ferris, Grace Dickinson, Anna C. Tatum, 
Anna F. Taber, and Ruth S. Murray, but three of whom 
are now living." (1904.) 

The following description of the New York Meeting in 
1864 is taken from the diary of William W. S. Wood s 
mother: "First in our gallery sits William F. Mott, an 
elder. He is over 80 years of age, and feels many of the 
infirmities incident to a long life, from the duties of which 
he has mostly retired after very many years of great useful 
ness in the church and in benevolent works. He ever gave 
heed to the injunction and manifested on every occasion, 
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. 
Next to William F. Mott we see Edward Marshall, an Eng 
lishman by birth. He is a sound, intelligent minister, but 
not a frequent speaker. Then William Wood, an elder who 
has been for many years clerk of the Yearly Preparative and 
Monthly Meetings, with good will doing service as to the 
Lord. At his side sits one of the same name, but not a 


relative. Dr. Stephen Wood has a loud, sonorous voice, 
and sometimes his sentences flow with fluency and grandeur. 
In his ministry he often alludes to passing events, and in 
vites to a more diligent perusal of the Holy Scriptures ; and 
on the divinity of Christ brings forth the most beautiful 
and conclusive texts. He quotes from the early Friends, 
and desires us to remove not the ancient landmarks. 

"Henry Dickinson is the next one in our gallery. He is 
impressive, and awakening in his sermons, and has a clear 
head to elucidate a text. His motto is Christ is All. He 
is an Englishman. 

"On the lowest gallery seat, in front of the ministers, 
we see Dr. Thomas Cock, the oldest member of the meet 
ing. He is a highly esteemed physician and gentleman, a 
sincere Christian, and very solicitous for the welfare of 
the Society. Next to him is Daniel Cromwell, an esteemed, 
aged Friend, who is in his place in suitable weather. Then 
we see the portly figure of his brother, William Cromwell, 
an elder. His open heart and open house made him loved 
and respected by many strangers visiting this city. He 
cautions Friends not to stumble from the ancient paths. 
Then Isaac H. Allen, a follower of the living way which 
Christ has consecrated for us. By him is Benjamin Tatham, 
impulsive, devoted and prosperous, not forgetting to give 
tithes to the Lord. Then the expanded form of Edward 
Tatum, who a few years since removed here from Phila 
delphia. He has a warm heart and is valued and beloved. 

"Robert Lindley Murray and Joseph Hilyard face the 
gallery, and a number of old men, who never did any harm, 
sit between them. Robert L. Murray withholds not his 
hands when the church calls for work. He succeeded Wil- 


liam Wood as clerk of the Monthly Meeting, and is sup 
erintendent of the First Day School. It may be said of him 
that he is doing the will of the Lord from his heart. 

"On the women s side of our meeting Rebecca Collins 
sits head of the gallery. She resided until a few years since 
in Philadelphia, but is now living here. She is a widow, 
and is much beloved both as a minister and socially. She 
tenderly sympathizes with the lowly and afflicted, visiting 
and comforting in many ways. She manifests that she is 
privileged to sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. 

"On her left we see Hannah H. Murray and Elizabeth 
U. Willis, elders, counted worthy of double honor. E. U. 
Willis was for many years clerk of Monthly and Yearly 

"Next is our sweet-spirited Grace Dickinson (wife of 
Henry) . She is our youngest minister. In her abide faith, 
hope and charity. She is much beloved. The next is Lydia 
Willets, correct in all her ways, without sins of the tongue 
to answer for. The lowest seat facing the congregation was 
not long since filled with aged Friends, but one after another 
they have been called to eternal rest; the only one remain 
ing is Amy Sutton. Catharine M. Wood (wife of Dr. 
Wood) and Elizabeth B. Collins, both young elders, now 
sit there, and often strangers. 

"On the first seat facing the gallery is Anna Underbill. 
She is careful to speak evil of no one, and always has some 
good words for those spoken against by others. On the 
other end of this bench is Mary S. Wood (wife of William 
Wood). On the bench behind are Sarah F. Underbill, 
Anna H. Shotwell and Jane U. Ferris. The first two are 
among those who established a colored orphan asylum. 


"Then we see Ruth S. Murray (wife of Robert L. Mur 
ray) . She established a Mothers Mission and Mission Sun 
day-School, with very little help. She is sweet and cheerful, 
and her faith never fails." 

Ten years afterwards she writes: "Brooklyn Meeting 
being established, Henry and Grace Dickinson and Isaac H. 
Allen attended it, as they lived in Brooklyn. William 
Wood now sits head of the New York Meeting, and Dr. 
Stephen Wood next to him. On the lowest bench are Ed 
ward Tatum, Alden Sampson, Benjamin Tatham and John 
Ellison. Edward Marshall moved to Philadelphia. Wil 
liam F. Mott, Daniel Cromwell, Dr. Thomas Cock and 
William Cromwell have been called up higher, to be seen 
of men no more. 

"Robert Lindley Murray has been recorded a minister. 
He was instant in season to declare what the Spirit saith to 
the Churches, and he is now gathered before the Throne. 

"Hannah S. Murray, though very infirm, and Lydia Wil- 
lets are still here; but Elizabeth U. Willis, Anna Under 
bill and Amy Sutton have departed in peace and trust, 
all about 80 years of age. Anna H. Shotwell has also joined 
the heavenly host. The places of some are vacant, but 
others are occupied by younger Friends, though past middle 

One of the most highly esteemed ministers of the last 
half century was Abel T. Collins. He came from Maine 
in 1863, with his wife Mary, who, after his death, married 
Edward Tatum. Abel Collins was a young man in very 
moderate circumstances, a hard worker, both in his busi 
ness and as a student. He was modest and refined in his 
manners. Beloved especially by the young men, his early 
death brought sorrow to all hearts. 


Thomas Kimber removed to this city in 1877. He mar 
ried Mary E. Shearman, of New Bedford. He was col 
lege-bred and a gentleman. Active as a minister, he trav 
eled extensively, preaching sound evangelical Christianity 
in a scholarly and attractive manner. He sat at the head 
of this meeting for several years, and his death was a loss 
to it which has never been repaired. 

Sixty years ago the following Friends were pillars of this 
church, viz.: 

Children Friends. Not Friends. 

John Wood 5 

Benjamin Collins 7 i 

John L. Bowne 4 i 

Robert Bowne 3 i 

John W. Willis i 2 

William Wood 2 

William Birdsall 6 

Robert F. Mott i 

William F. Cromwell 2 i 

Dr. Thomas Cock 4 2 

Daniel Cromwell 3 2 

32 16 

In 1870 Dr. Joseph Bassett Holder, of Lynn, father of 
the author, joined this meeting. He was a descendant of 
Daniel Holder of Nantucket, and with Edward Cope, of 
Philadelphia, perhaps the only notable examples of scien 
tific men among the Quakers in America. Dr. Holder was 
never disowned, though he served as a surgeon throughout 
the Civil War, his knowledge of sanitary science saving 
hundreds of lives in Florida. He was the curator of 
Zoology of the American Museum of Natural History, 

Author, Scientist, Surgeon U. S . Ann if IfWO-ti!) 

Nir.i/.y. J.L.D. 

/ resident of Swarthmore College 


having joined Professor Bickmore in 1870, and aided in the 
development of the institution, serving it until his death in 
1888. Dr. Holder was the author of several books. He 
was a sincere believer in the orthodox doctrine. For many 
years he was an intimate friend of John G. Whittier, Dr. 
Nichols and Charles Coffin of Lynn. 

While the Society is holding its own and increasing in the 
West, it has unquestionably fallen away in New York. The 
reason for this is found in the severity of the conditions 
in the past century, marriage out of the Society and the 
wholesale disownments. The New York meeting was dealt 
a heavy blow in 1877 by wna t is known as the "Nine 
Queries" adopted by the Yearly Meeting. Some of the 
most important members left the Meeting. It was not long 
after this that the Friends awoke to the fact that wholesale 
disownment was elimination. To illustrate the change, 
in 1870, when an aunt of the author married Colonel Eaton 
of the U. S. Army, she was not disowned, although she 
joined the Episcopal Church. A committee of the New 
England Meeting waited on her, and said that, owing to 
the love and affection for her, and for her father and 
mother, John C. and Hannah G. Gove, they would not 
disown her, and she would be always welcome at the meet 
ings. If this kindly method had been in vogue in Nan- 
tucket, New York and New England fifty years sooner, the 
Society would not have been depleted. As it was, many 
good men and women refused to be bound by "non-essen 
tials," always the bete noir of Quakerism. The New York 
Meeting to-day is based on a liberal plan, and is composed 
of men and women of the highest character, imbued with a 
liberal Christian spirit. 



I conceive the most notable feature of the establishment 
of the Quakers in Pennsylvania was, that having full power 
to make the religion of the colony Quakerism, William 
Penn rose to the highest idealism, and made the corner 
stone of the vast "experiment" (paid for with his own 
money), devoted to the sect he believed in liberty of con 
science with absolute freedom "for Papists, Protestants, 
Jews and Turks." Every charge ever brought against the 
Quakers from the dawn of the idea to the time of Penn was 
answered in this declaration. The contrast between this 
and the action of the Puritans, who established their dictum 
as absolute in New England, is not only remarkable, but it 
gives an illumining view of the breadth and disinterested 
ness which underlay Quakerism in the seventeenth century; 
and which makes it still a profound influence and leaven in 
the world s history to-day. 

The idea of a colony in America where the people could 
have absolute liberty of conscience was conceived by Wil 
liam Penn when a student at Oxford in 1661, when he met 
Josiah Cole, a kinsman of Christopher Holder, who was in 
structed by George Fox to go to America on a mission of 
investigation with a view to a Quaker colony. Penn writes, 
"This I can say that I had an opening of joy as to these 
parts (the American colonies) in the year 1661 at Oxford, 
twenty years since." 


The experiences of Friends in New England and New 
York were so discouraging that years passed before any 
headway was made in the direction of colonization, the first 
encouragement coming from New Jersey in 1673. In this 
year, William Penn, through his influence with the King 
and the Duke of York, was made arbitrator in the Fenwick- 
Byllinge matter in New Jersey. Lord Berkeley had sold 
his share in the province to the former, in trust, for 
Byllinge ; and as an outcome Penn and three others received 
nine-tenths of the property, acting as trustees for the Quaker 
Byllinge. In 1680, the Duke of York, always an intimate 
of Penn, deeded to him and his colleagues West Jersey, 
East Jersey going to the Carterets. In 1697 Lord Carteret 
died, and William Penn and twenty-four others became the 
owners of East Jersey, with the hope of making it a Quaker 
colony. Robert Barclay, the author of "The Apology" was 
made governor, but he never came to America and ruled only 
by deputies. This plan never succeeded, for various reasons, 
and Penn soon devoted all his energies to obtaining the 
rich region to the south, known as Pennsylvania. 

This experience in New Jersey gave William Penn an, 
insight into the possibilities of America for colonization by 
men and women who desired freedom of conscience. He 
consulted with many Friends about it George Fox, John 
Burnyeat, Algernon Sydney, the Duke of York and the 
King, Lord Peterborough and Sir Isaac Newton, Lord North 
and Lord Sunderland, and many more. In 1680 he made 
his proposition to the King that, in lieu of the eighty thou 
sand dollars due him, he should be deeded the land in 
America lying north of Maryland, "bounded on the east by 
the Delaware River, and on the west limited as Maryland 



and northward, to extend as far as plantable." The details 
of this demand comprise a history in itself, and the con 
summation was one of the mile-stones in American Quaker 
ism of profound importance. 

The region secured included over forty thousand square 
miles of territory, and concealed unsuspected millions in 
coal and oil. The vast area was sold at a price less than 
the value of a single business lot in Philadelphia in 1913, 
and the insignificance of the sum is explained by the fact that 
the sum paid, eighty thousand dollars, was supposed to be 
an extraordinary price for wilderness land. It was the first 
instance in the history of American colonization of land 
being sold by the Crown. 

On the 4th of March, 1681, William Penn received his 
charter, and became the Lord of a principality about as large 
as England. Penn, it is believed, informed the King that 
he desired to name it New Wales, but the King objected. 
Then Penn suggested Sylvania or Woodland. This name 
was marked on the charter, but the King added the word 
Penn to Sylvania, to which Penn seriously objected, on the 
ground that it would appear that he had selected it for self- 
aggrandizement. To quote Penn, "I feared lest it would 
be looked upon as a vanity in me and not as a respect in the 
King, as it truly was to my father whom he often mentions 
in praise." The King appreciated the Quaker modesty, but 
he was determined that his friend s son should receive the 
honor, so he said diplomatically, "We will keep it, my dear 
fellow, but not on your account, do not flatter yourself, we 
will keep the name to commemorate the Admiral, your noble 
father." So the new American Quaker domain, known as 
the "Holy Experiment," became Pennsylvania. 


William Penn was now in effect the Lord of the Manor. 
He could sell or rent the land, the King demanding but two 
bearskins annually, and one-fifth of all the gold and silver 
found in the domain. A fifth of all the coal and oil found 
in Pennsylvania later would have been a king s ransom. 
The Penn charter, which he drew himself, and in which he 
was designated as Proprietary, was written on parchment, 
"each line underscored with red ink, and the borders gor 
geously decorated." The original is now in the Division of 
Public Records in the State Library at Harrisburg. The 
charter was designed after that granted to Lord Baltimore 
for Maryland, but was not so liberal. When the Assembly 
of Maryland passed a law, it became valid when Lord 
Baltimore signed it; but the Pennsylvania laws had to be 
confirmed by the King, who thus kept his hand upon the 
Quaker helm. In Maryland the King could not levy a tax; 
but in Pennsylvania the Crown reserved this right. Un 
questionably the King was advised not to give too free a 
hand to a colony three thousand miles distant, in anticipa 
tion of possible rebellion on the part of colonists. 

Penn was obliged to give his people free government. 
They were to have the right to elect their own legislative 
body ; but Penn had the right to veto : he could also appoint 
various civic officers as magistrates, and he had the power of 
pardon except in capital offenses. Penn was also denomin 
ated the Governor in perpetuity, and despite the proviso of 
the government to protect itself from any possible contin 
gency, Penn was given every possible liberty, and permitted 
to shape the policy of the new colony without interference. 
This he proceeded to do in a most liberal manner, carrying 
out the highest principles of the Quakers, and assuring all 
would-be immigrants of perfect religious freedom. 


The advanced views of Quakerism were seen in the state 
ment that governments existed for the people, not people for 
governments; that imprisonment was not the last word for 
criminals, they were to be reformed, if possible by Christian 
treatment. In Massachusetts a man could be hung for 
idolatry, witch-craft, adultery, bearing false witness, striking 
a parent, swearing, and not long before, for being a Quaker. 
Penn struck these from the list, and capital punishment could 
only be inflicted in case of murder or high treason, a mar 
velous reform for the age. Penn s intentions were set forth 
in a letter he sent to the colony by his cousin, William Mark- 
ham, in April, 1681, who went out as deputy governor. It 
is as follows: 

"My friends: I wish you all happiness, here and here 
after. These are to let you know that it hath pleased God, 
in his providence, to cast you within my lot and care. It is 
a business that, though I never undertook before, yet God 
has given me an understanding of my duty, and an honest 
mind to do it uprightly. I hope you will not be troubled at 
your change and the King s choice, for you are now fixed 
at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune 
great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making, 
and live a free, and, if you will, a sober and industrious 
people. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his 
person. God has furnished me with a better resolution, and 
has given me His grace to keep it. In short, whatever sober 
and free men can desire for the security and improvement of 
their own happiness, I shall heartily comply with, and in 
five months I resolve, if it please God, to see you. In the 
meantime pray submit to the commands of my deputy, so far 


as they are consistent with the law, and pay him those dues 
(that formerly you paid to the order of the Governor of 
New York) for my use and benefit, and so I beseech God to 
direct you in the way of righteousness, and therein prosper 
you and your children after you. 
"I am your true friend, 

"William Penn." 

Penn now began to interest Quakers and others in his 
colony, and was so eminently successful that in the year 
following the granting of the charter twenty ships sailed for 
the Delaware, carrying nearly three thousand immigrants, 
many of whom were Quakers. He secured a grant from the 
Duke of York for the land now known as Delaware, so that 
he could control the coast line on the western side of Dela 
ware River and Bay to the ocean, all of which indicated that 
he was well advised and looked well to the future. He 
threw his entire personality into the "Holy Experiment," 
and his enthusiasm was so infectious that the colony grew in 
leaps and bounds, and became the talk of London, where the 
continual departure of Quakers was welcomed by the King, 
who had cleverly paid his debt and paved a way for the per 
sistent Friends to leave the scenes of their troubles. In a 
year after receiving the charter, Penn found his affairs in 
such shape that he could visit the colony, and in the summer 
of 1682 he sailed from Deal in the ship Welcome , probably 
innocent that Cotton Mather was devising a plan to have his 
ship intercepted, and himself sold a slave at Barbados, 
as the following letter indicates; though how this interesting 
figure in New England history expected to seriously annoy a 
man of Penn s prominence, a protege of King Charles and 
intimate of the Duke of York, is difficult to imagine. 


"Boston, Sept. ye 15th, 1682. 
"To ye aged and beloved John Higginson. 

"There be at sea a shippe called Ye Welcome, R. Green- 
way Master, which has on board a hundred or more of ye 
heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penne, ye 
chief scampe, at the head of them. Ye General Court has 
accordingly given secret orders to Master Malachi Huxett of 
ye brig Porpasse to walaye sed Welcome as near ye coast 
of Codde as may be and make captive ye said Penne and his 
ungodly crew so that ye Lord may be glorified and not 
mocked on ye soil of this new countre with ye heathen wor 
ships of these people 

"Much spoyle may be made by selling ye whole lot to 
Barbadoes, where slaves fetch goode prices in rumme and 
sugar, and shall not only do ye Lord great service in punish 
ing the wicked, but we shall make great good for his minis 
ters and people. Master Huxett feels hopeful, and I will 
set down ye news when his shippe comes back. Yours in 
ye bowels of Christ, 

"Cotton Mather."* 

The "Welcome" appears to have missed the "Brig Por 
passe," as she landed at New Castle, Delaware, on the 2yth 
of October, 1682, after a long trip of over two months, dur 
ing which thirty of the one hundred passengers died of small 
pox at sea. 

Up to 1681 the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Delaware 
were Indians, and a few Swedes and Dutch, and Quakers; 
the whites having a small settlement at Tacony opposite 

*I have been unable to trace the original of this interesting letter 
and cannot vouch for its authenticity, though it was given in good faith. 


Burlington, and at Chester, then known as Upland. Penn 
received a hearty welcome from the Dutch and Swedish 
settlers. At Newcastle he presented his "deeds of enfeoff- 
ment", and in turn the inhabitants handed to him soil, water 
and branch, indicating their recognition of his right as Pro 
prietor and Governor. 

From here he journeyed up the river to the present location 
of Chester, where he was welcomed and entertained by Rob 
ert Wade, said to be the first Quaker to enter Pennsylvania. 
One of Penn s intimates was Thomas Pearson, grandfather 
of Benjamin West, and when standing with him, gazing at 
the beautiful country he could call his own, he said : "Provi 
dence has brought us here safe. Thou hast been the com 
panion of my perils, what wilt thou that I shalt call this 
place*?" "Call it Chester;," responded his friend, who was 
from the old walled city of that name. Here in the Quaker 
meeting house a four-day assembly was held, during which 
Penn explained more fully what he proposed to do, and told 
his auditors that they were to have a government in advance 
of anything enjoyed by any people in the world; that they 
were free men and could worship God as they wished, with 
out even criticism. All he demanded was that they should 
obey the law and live uprightly. Here the great laws of 
Pennsylvania, including sixty-one statutes, were passed, and 
the real Pennsylvania began its lease of life, doubtless having 
for its motto the following, which is included in the "frame 
of government" : "We declare that we hold it our glory 
that the law of Jehovah shall be the supreme law of Pennsyl 

William Penn was charmed with his great possession, and 
in letters to Friends in England, he wrote enthusiastically 
about it. 


He now went to New York to pay a visit of courtesy to the 
authorities ; then he proceeded on the same mission to Mary 
land, where he met Lord Baltimore. Returning, he pro 
ceeded to select a location for a central city upon which his 
commissioners had been at work. His decision was the neck 
of land between the Delaware and the Schuylkill, a location 
"not surpassed by one among all the many places he had seen 
in the world." He selected the name "Philadelphia" from 
the two Greek words meaning "Brotherly Love", hoping that 
the name would be prophetic of the life of the residents. 

Penn was now fairly started with his great experiment; 
not only the Governor but the practical owner of a region, 
with its later additions, twice as large as the mother country. 
He proposed to populate it, build it up into a great haven for 
the people of the old world, one of the most stupendous un 
dertakings ever attempted by one man, a responsibility so 
profound that it might well have stayed the hand of criti 
cism ; it being a self-evident fact that he would have to leave 
much of the actual labor to managers and deputies. The 
most liberal terms were given to settlers, there were no special 
privileges, no monopolies, no great land schemes. 

Penn sold the land at the rate of one thousand acres for 
$100., or five thousand acres for $500., and annually one 
shilling for every hundred acres as rent. If the would-be 
settler did not have the requisite amount, he was given two 
hundred acres or less, at a rent of twenty-five cents per acre 
per annum, until he could pay for it. Fairer terms could not 
be asked, immigrants poured in ; and a few months after his 
arrival, twenty-three ships arrived, and within six months of 
the founding of Philadelphia, the city possessed eighty good 
houses and cottages, a thriving business, while the farmers 


had laid out over three hundred farms. Three years later, 
Philadelphia boasted six hundred houses, and the state had 
at least fifty towns laid out and occupied. Ninety ships 
arrived at Philadelphia in the first two years of its life, bring 
ing seven thousand passengers, mostly Friends, and the col 
ony in a short time had nine or ten thousand inhabitants. 
Compare the growth of this province, which guaranteed 
free conscience, to that of New York, where Quakers were 
ill-used, and it will be seen that Philadelphia gained more 
in three years than did New York in fifty. It even sur 
passed New England, into which the Puritans were pouring 
in a never ending stream. 

Among the first buildings erected was a meeting house, 
and the first Yearly Meeting was held at Burlington on the 
28th of sixth month, 1681; this originated in the Burling 
ton, N. J., Monthly Meeting. 

In 1682 an organization was effected in Philadelphia at 
which it was agreed to hold Monthly Meetings, and consider 
every third one a quarterly. General meetings were also 
held alternating in Burlington and Philadelphia up to 1760, 
after which all the Yearly Meetings were held in Phila 

One of the questions which occupied the attention of 
William Penn was that of Indians. The Quaker policy 
was that the natives had the same rights as the whites, and 
they proposed to treat them honorably. The famous treaty 
with the Indians, which has been the subject of artists and 
poets, was probably consummated in June, 1683, and was 
doubtless a meeting with chiefs to arrange a purchase of 
land from them. As oaths were not used by the Quakers, or 
required, they merely promised the Indians certain things, 


all of which were religiously carried out. The King had 
insisted that a clause providing for an armed force to pro 
tect the Quakers from the Indians should be inserted in the 
charter whether Penn wished it or not. "What", said the 
King, when Penn protested, "venture yourself among the 
savages of North America!" "I want none of your 
majesty s soldiers," replied Penn. "But how will you get 
your lands without soldiers ?" asked the King. "I mean to 
buy their lands of them," said Penn. "Why, man," rejoined 
the amazed monarch, "you have bought them of me 
already!" The answer of Penn tells the story of Quaker 
ism better than a volume. 

"W. Penn. Yes; I know I have, and at a dear rate too: 
I did this to gain thy good will, not that I thought thou 
hadst any right to their lands I will buy the rights of the 
proper owners, even of the Indians themselves: by doing 
this, I shall imitate God in His justice and mercy, and 
hope, thereby, to insure His blessing on my colony, if I 
should ever live to plant one in North America." 

Deputy Governor Markham had already dealt with the 
Indians, and explained the policy of the Quakers, and they 
were so impressed that they said they would "live in peace 
with the Onas (Plume) and his children as long as the sun 
and moon shall endure." The Indians handed down the 
meaning of the great Shackamaxon treaty to their children, 
and their children s children. Penn doubtless refers to 
this treaty of romantic history in a letter to the Free Society 
of Traders written August 16, 1683. The reference is as 
follows : 

"When the purchase was agreed, great promises passed 
between us, of kindness and good neighborhood, and that 


the English and Indians must live in love as long as the sun 
gave light: which done, another made a speech to the 
Indians, in the name of all the Sachamakan, or kings, first 
to tell them what was done; next, to charge and command 
them to love the Christians, and particularly live in peace 
with me and the people under my government. That many 
governors had been in the river, but that no governor had 
come himself to live and stay there before; and that now 
having such a one that had treated them well, they should 
never do him or his any wrong. At every sentence of which 
they shouted, and said, Amen, in their way." 

The famous treaty with the Delawares or Lenni-Lenape 
was held in all probability beneath a big elm at Shacka- 
maxon, which lived until 1810, when it was blown down. 
Two treaties were referred to, and doubtless many were 
held; but the famous picture of Benjamin West, which is 
more or less fanciful, has created an interest in the occasion 
that will never die. In this picture are a number of por 
traits, one of James Logan, the famous secretary of William 
Penn, I am told by a descendant. The really remarkable 
feature of the treaty, so far as history is concerned, was that 
every promise made to the Indians by Penn was kept 
inviolate. This amazed even the adamantine and unim 
pressionable Voltaire, who refers to it as "the only treaty 
with a nation that was never confirmed by an oath, and 
never broken." 

As to the payment to the Indians for their lands, an idea 
can be obtained from the purchase in 1685 of a large tract 
extending from the Delaware to the Susquehanna. Penn 
was in Europe, but the negotiations were conducted with 
four chiefs Shakkopoh, Sekane, Tangoros and Malibore 


who demanded of the Quakers and were paid, forty-four 
pounds of red lead, thirty pairs of hawks bells, thirty fath 
oms of duffels, sixty fathoms of strandwaters (known as 
cloth, thirty each of guns, kettles, shirts, combs, axes, knives, 
bars of lead, pounds of powder, pairs of scissors, pairs of 
stockings, glasses, awls, tobacco boxes, three papers of beads, 
six draw knives, six caps, twelve hoes, two hundred fathoms 
of wampum (money). 

No feature of the Quaker settlement of Pennsylvania 
has so taken the popular fancy as that of Penn and his 
treaty with the Indians; but it is perhaps going too far to 
say that the entire credit of the Quaker pseudo influence 
with the Indians explained their immunity from attack for 
seventy years, or until the colony was settled far to the 
west, and the settlers began to infringe on the lands of the 
Algonquins. The natives were unquestionably impressed 
by Penn, who was a gentleman of majestic appearance, 
always well-groomed, he never broke his word with them, 
nor is there a case on record of an act of unfairness which 
can be proven against a Quaker in his relations with the 
Indians. They treated them as equals, were uniformly kind 
and liberal, all of which bound the two people together in 
the strong bonds of fraternal friendship. 

There was, however, another factor which tended to pro 
tect the Quakers, known to those who have studied the 
Indian situation of the seventeenth century in America. 
When Christopher Holder, Josiah Cole and William Pear 
son were traveling in America, long before the arrival of 
Penn, there was a desperate war waging between the Iro- 
quois tribe of Susquehannocks and the Long House. The 
former lost and wandered to the south. Penn made his 


treaty with the Delawares or Algonquins, who had been so 
humiliated by the Long House that they were practically 
vassals, and paid tribute to the powerful Five Nations, 
the Long House was a firm friend of Corlear in New York, 
hence if the crushed and vassal Delawares, the last of the 
once terrible Lenni-Lenape, had taken advantage of the 
defenseless and unarmed Quakers, Penn would only have 
had to notify the Dutch or English in New York, and the 
warriors of the Five Nations, the Cayugas and Senecas 
would have descended upon them. Politics was not 
unknown in aboriginal America, and it doubtless played a 
part in the history of the Pennsylvania Quakers: there was 
a balance of power in America in the seventeenth century. 

William Penn learned in 1684 that affairs were not going 
well with the Quakers in England, and in the summer of 
that year he sailed for the mother country, hoping to appeal 
to Charles the Second and the Duke of York, and put a 
check upon the magistrates who were now ill-treating 
Quakers. He bade his people farewell, promising to return 
soon ; but fifteen years elapsed before he again saw American 

The peaceful and initial years in Pennsylvania saw stir 
ring times in adjoining colonies. New England particularly 
was under a cloud. The Puritans resented the interference 
of the King in the affairs of the Quakers, and were on the 
border of open revolt. Their commissions to England were 
not received with any degree of cordiality, as the Quakers 
through Penn were in favor. The King agreed to respect 
the New England charter, but insisted upon the oath of 
allegiance, and the repeal of the Puritan laws aimed at the 
Episcopalians and Quakers. Governor Andros in New 


York had displeased the Duke of York in the matter of 
custom duties, and the latter was so thoroughly disgusted 
that he would have sold the colony to the highest bidder, 
had not his friend William Penn interfered. 

"What!" said Penn, "sell New York? Don t think of 
such a thing, just give it self-government and there will be 
no more trouble." The Duke, who had the highest respect 
for his Quaker friend s opinion, took his advice. Andros 
was made a gentleman of the King s Chamber, and given 
a long lease of the island of Alderney, Colonel Thomas Don- 
gan was sent to New York as Governor, and the first 
Assembly was held in 1683 when Philadelphia was rapidly 
becoming a city. 

It is not to be conceived that Penn s "Holy Experiment" 
could have escaped criticism. Envious rivals, personal 
and political enemies of long standing attacked him with 
virulence; and Macaulay, who appears to have admitted 
much contumelious fiction into his history of England, ap 
parently stands sponsor for them. But the attacks did not 
seriously interfere with the project. On the death of 
Charles II., the Duke of York ascended the throne, and at 
once the Quakers, who formerly had hardly a friend at court, 
were represented by a leader who stood nearer to his Catholic 
Majesty than any one: so near that his enemies did not fail 
to point out that Penn was really a Jesuit in disguise The 
coronation of King James II. and his unquestioned affection 
for Penn, caused a change in the latter s plans. The imme 
diate return to the colony was given up, and Thomas Lloyd, 
the friend of John Ap John, became the confidant and rep 
resentative of Penn in America. 

Through the influence of Penn, hundreds of Quakers were 


(1685) released; among them Edward Gove of Hampton, 
who had been confined in the Tower of London for three 
years on a charge of treason. The enemies of Penn, unable 
to carry out their nefarious designs, or obtain great monop 
olies in his colony, attacked him at home. Macaulay charges 
him with being a go-between of certain maids of honor, to 
blackmail the parents of certain children. The evidence in 
the case is a letter of Lord Sunderland; addressed to "a Mr. 
Penn," who is known to have been a notorious pardon 
broker of the day, named George Penn, not even a kinsman 
of the Quaker. Macaulay was charged with this outrage in 
the preface of Clarkson s "Life of Penn," 1850. He replied 
to it, and was replied to in turn by John Paget of London, 
who, in the words of John Fiske, "left Macaulay in a sorry 
plight." In this way can be disposed of all the many 
charges against the honor and character of the great Quaker. 
Fiske further says, "None of the charges brought against 
William Penn have been adequately supported; and so far 
was his character from deteriorating through his intimacy 
with James II. that at no time in his life does he seem more 
honest, brave and lovable than during the years so full of 
trouble to him that intervened between the accession of 
James and the accession of Anne." 

The friendship between the Roman Catholic King James 
and William Penn the Quaker was a strange one; but it 
began in youth and so continued. One day, the King asked 
William Penn how the Quaker religion differed from that 
of the Roman Catholic. Pointing to their several hats, the 
King s with its plumes and gorgeous decorations, his own 
without ornament, he said, "The only difference, your 
Majesty, lies in the ornaments that have been added to 


them." The King laughed at many of the picadilloes of 
the Quakers, and did not object to being "thou d" and 
"thee d" by Penn, though it unquestionably threw many of 
the courtiers into a rage. This use of "plain" language 
occasioned the Quakers as much trouble as anything, as 
those so addressed honestly supposed themselves insulted. 
At this period thee and thou were terms used in addressing 
inferiors, the common people and servants ; hence when Penn 
used it to a gentleman or an official, it was taken as a gross 
insult, without cause or reason, and was resented as would be 
a gross epithet. Fisher says, "Penn describes the indigna 
tion with which people would turn on a Quaker and ex 
claim, "Thou me, thou my dog! If thou thou st me, I ll 
thou thy teeth down thy throat." To which the Quaker 
would reply by asking, "Why then, dost thou always address 
God in thy prayers by thee and thou?" 

While the friendship between the King and Penn was the 
cause of the advancement of the Quakers in Pennsylvania 
and elsewhere, it involved them in many charges of pseudo 
Jesuitism, and created for them a new band of enemies. 
Among other denominations he was styled "William, the 
Papist". Penn became so interested in securing justice for 
Quakers that he became a prominent and conspicuous figure 
as a friend of the King. He was forced into the public eye, 
and became a courtier without knowing it, yet was well cal 
culated by his many graces to fill the position of a king s 
friend. He now rented Holland House from the Earl of 
Warwick, and became one of the most influential men at 
court. The extraordinary expense attendant upon this life, 
and the fact that Pennsylvania was still a financial drag 
upon him, embarrassed Penn not a little. He was practi- 


cally paying the expenses of the government in the Colony, 
and that his officials drew on him is shown in the following 
extract : 

"I have had two letters more," he writes to his steward, "with three 
bills of exchange. I am sorry the public is so unmindful of me as not 
to prevent bills upon me, that am come on their errand, and had rather 
have lost a thousand pounds than have stirred from Pennsylvania. 

. James, send no more bills, for I have enough to do to 
keep all even here, and think of returning with my family; that can t 
be without vast charge." 

William Penn s heart was in Pennsylvania, and he was 
continually endeavoring to return. In 1686 he went to Hol 
land partly on a diplomatic mission and to induce the mem 
bers and other Quaker-like persons to go to Pennsylvania 
whose future depended on active growth. Mary, the daugh 
ter of King James, had married the Prince of Orange, and if 
James died childless Mary would be the heir to the English 
crown. Hence we may assume that William Penn was look 
ing ahead to the possibilities, and it is known that he endeav 
ored to obtain a promise from William to not only guarantee 
freedom of religious worship in England, but to guarantee 
the abolishment of the test laws which kept Roman Catholics 
and Dissenters out of Parliament and office. The latter 
William refused to do, to the chagrin of Penn and King 
James; William taking the offensive ground that the "test 
laws" were all that prevented King James from handing 
the British government over to Rome. 

Penn was violently attacked for this and denounced as a 
Papist. Bishop Burnet thus refers to the incident : 

"But for the tests he would enter into no treaty about them. He 
said it was plain betraying the security of the Protestant religion to 
give them up. Nothing was left unsaid that might move him to agree 
to this in the way of interest. The king would enter into an entire 


confidence with him, and would put his best friends in the chief trusts. 
Pen undertook for this so positively, that he seemed to believe it him 
self, or he was a great proficient in the art of dissimulation. Many 
suspected that he was a concealed Papist. It is certain he was much 
with Father Peter, and was particularly trusted by the Earl of Sun- 
derland. So, tho he did not present any commssion for what he prom 
ised, yet we looked on him as a man employed. To all this the Prince 
answered, that no man was more for toleration in principle than he 
was: He thought the conscience was only subject to God. And as 
far as a general toleration, even of Papists, would content the king, he 
would concur in it heartily: But he looked on the Tests as such a 
real security, and indeed the only one, when the king was of another 
religion, that he would join in no counsels with those that intended 
to repeal those laws that enacted them. Pen said the king would have 
all or nothing: But that if this was once done the king would secure 
the toleration by a solemn and unalterable law. To this the late repeal 
of the edict of Nantes, that was declared perpetual and irrevocable, 
furnished an answer that admitted of no reply." ("Burnet s History 
of his Own Times," vol. i. 693, 694.) 

Penn s attitude has been attacked and maligned; but it 
was essentially the Quaker view that all men should have 
equal rights under the law, no matter what the religion. It 
is also claimed that Penn was being "used" by the king, 
that he was lacking in shrewdness, and that he was a Papist ; 
but from the Quaker standpoint he was only right. 

In the following years William Penn preached over all 
England, becoming more impoverished by the demands on 
him from the colony. He was active in politics and issued 
a pamphlet entitled, "Good Advice to Roman Catholic and 
Protestant Dissenters," in support of the king s policy after 
the Declaration of Independence in 1687. This made him 
many enemies. The king became so ardent in his desire to 
establish the Catholics in England that the people revolted 
in 1689 and brought over William, the Protestant Prince 
of Orange, James fleeing to France, where he lived as a pen 
sioner on Louis XIV. until his death. 


This was a crisis in the affairs of Quakers and Penn. The 
latter, however, was a true man and he never deserted his 
friend James II., and never could be induced to criticise him; 
and that he firmly believed that more real toleration was to 
be had under James than William cannot be doubted. Penn 
neither hurried to William to bend the knee, nor fled; he re 
mained where he was, and his enemies procured his arrest on 
the loth of December, 1688. He was taken before the Privy 
Council, and the following is said to be his statement : 

"He had done nothing but what he could answer before God and 
all the princes in the world; that he loved his country and the Pro 
testant religion above his life, and had never acted against either; that 
all he had ever aimed at in his public endeavors was no other than 
what the prince himself had declared for (religious liberty) ; that King 
James had always been his friend, and his father s friend, and that in 
gratitude he himself was the King s, and did ever, as much as in him 
lay, influence him to his true interest." 

It so happened that William did not like servile acknowl 
edgments and appreciated the attitude of Penn, though the 
great Quaker was the butt of fierce attacks and denounced as 
a base enemy of Protestantism. But the facts remain that 
when he went for trial no witness had the temerity to appear 
against him and he was discharged innocent. 

For years Penn had been endeavoring to obtain from 
James the passage of the Toleration Act, but now it came 
from William. Penn was continually accused of plotting 
for the return of James, and the climax came when he 
heard that he was to be arrested after preaching the funeral 
sermon of George Fox. Weary and worn out by constant 
attack, he now wisely dropped out of sight. But even this 
did not allay suspicion, and he was constantly connected 
with rumors of the return of James. That these had their 


effect on the mind of the Protestant king is shown by the 
fact that in October, 1692, Penn s province of Pennsylvania 
was taken from him a heavy blow to all his hopes and 
ambitions. The excuse was, that the unarmed Pennsyl- 
vanians should not be exposed to France, Holland, Spain 
or any other possible Christian enemies. Louis XIV 
was supposed to have cast longing eyes upon New 
York and Pennsylvania; hence King William, in re 
sponse to the demands of the anti-Quaker element in Penn 
sylvania, including David Lloyd, Penn s friend, determined 
to arm the colony so that it could protect itself in case of 
war. The easiest way to accomplish this was to remove 
William Penn, the governor, and in March, 1693, he was 
deposed from office, and his great dominion was taken from 
him a crushing blow not only to himself, but to the thou 
sands of Quakers in the colony. 

These were dark days for the colony. Penn, denounced 
as William the Papist, practically ruined by having paid 
many of the expenses of the colony out of his own pocket, 
and unable to collect his just dues, was crushed and disheart 
ened, to which the apostacy of Keith (referred to elsewhere) 
and the refraction of numerous managers and deputies, 
added no inconsiderably. 

Penn, still in concealment, at once opened up negotiations 
to obtain his rights, and to remove the unjust but plausible 
suspicions. That the king wished to get rid of Penn is 
evident, as he doubtless asked Lord Rochester to enquire of 
Penn whether he would leave the country and go to Penn 
sylvania if it was restored to him. To this the manly Quaker 
replied : "I will not receive my liberty to go as a condition 


to go there, and be there as here looked upon as an exarticled 

In the latter part of the year 1693 the king became more 
friendly, and the government evidently concluded that his 
"treason" was "temperamental" only, and that he was 
merely a staunch friend of James. In any event, the king, 
in August, 1694, returned to Penn his province of Pennsyl 
vania, which, it will be remembered, was taken from him on 
the excuse that "unarmed," it was likely to be taken by the 

Penn s first wife, Gulielma Maria Springett, whom he 
married in 1672, died February 23, 1693. After a remark 
able period of successful preaching in England he married, 
in 1696, Hannah Callowhill of Bristol. By Gulielma he 
had seven children, three of whom survived her Springett, 
William and Letetia. The former died young. William 
was dissipated and a rake, Letetia married William Aubrey. 
By his second wife he had six children John, Thomas, 
Hannah, Margaret, Richard and Dennis. Four John, 
Thomas, Margaret and Richard became proprietors of 
Pennsylvania, none of the children of the first wife inherit 
ing any of the American property. 

For six years following his last marriage Penn wrote and 
preached in England. In 1699 he again sailed for Pennsyl 
vania, the first time in fifteen years, and now found a people 
who numbered at least twenty thousand. Pennsylvania had 
had a stormy time, and its government had been repeatedly 
changed, much to the dissatisfaction of the people. Penn 
was well received, and with his secretary, James Logan, at 
once took a hand in affairs, the latter becoming a shining 
light in the community. They settled in Philadelphia in 


the house of Edward Shippen, then moved to a slate-roofed 
residence on Second street, north of Walnut. Here his son 
John was born. In the spring he went to his country seat, 
Pennsbury, twenty miles up the river. When he attended 
the meetings of the Provincial Council he traveled down the 
river in a six-oared barge. Up to this time Penn, through the 
proprietor, had expended over one hundred thousand dollars 
in paying the bills and salaries of the Colony, and he could 
not induce the Assembly to make it up. This, and the fact 
that his quit rents and sales were slow, tended to embarrass 
him still more. 

In 1701 the rumor became current that the home govern 
ment purposed to change the proprietory governments into 
Royal Colonies, and he decided to go to England. Before 
sailing he gave the people a new constitution, which proved 
eminently satisfactory. The many biographers of Penn have 
sketched with elaborate detail every step of his career, and 
it is but necessary here to give the essentials, the important 
steps in his life as they influenced the Quakers. The Quaker 
Assembly voted Penn ten thousand dollars for expenses in 
the interests of the Colony. But this was soon expended and 
his troubles rapidly accumulated, and in an extraordinary 
way. Matters came to such a point that he tried to sell his 
government to the Crown, but was not successful. He was 
embroiled in further trouble by a manager or steward, Phillip 
Ford, who took advantage of him. At his death his widow 
and son had the temerity to claim that they were proprietors, 
and that Penn had deeded the province to the steward. The 
facts were, Penn had been outrageously deceived on various 
occasions, but very foolishly gave Ford a deed in fee simple 
of the province as security for money said by Ford to be due 


him. As Fisher says, "Penn was juggled out of his province 
by a bookkeeper." Penn was arrested in this case in London, 
and for nine months kept in the Fleet prison, the Fords 
having secured a judgment against him for $15,000 rent in 
arrears. He was arrested while at meeting in Grace-church 

Penn succeeded in mortgaging Pennsylvania and paying 
the Fords the amount. The friends who aided Penn at this 
time insisted on his discharging Deputy-Governor Evans, 
and they had great difficulty in obtaining his consent, as one 
of his peculiarities was his attachment to his friends, even if 
they were proven his enemies. 

Penn, now free and in possession again, sent out to the 
Colony Colonel Charles Gookin as a deputy governor in place 
of Evans. He always hoped to return to America, but the 
difficulty of settling his many affairs at home always stood 
in the way, and he passed the last years of his life near 
Brentford and Ruscombe. 

During this time he was endeavoring to sell his govern 
ment to the Crown, with the provision that the Quakers must 
be protected and religious liberty assured. The deed was 
ready to be signed. Five hundred dollars had been paid 
down, and he was to receive $90,750 for the great province 
of Pennsylvania, just ten thousand dollars more than he had 
originally paid for the virgin soil. But now, in 1712, for 
the second time he was stricken with paralysis, and by a 
lucky clause the great property remained in the family and 
continued so until the war of the Revolution in 1776. Trade 
revived as peace came, and the property became of vast value 
and the children of the second wife wealthy men. 

Penn lived several years after his illness, declining slowly, 


and on July 30, 1718, he died at the age of seventy-four 
years. He lies at Jordan s meeting-house, not far from 
London, to-day the Mecca of Friends and Americans who are 
loyal to his memory, and who honor him without reservation 
as an upright and faithful gentleman. 

The attitude of William Penn when charged by his 
enemies with plotting against King William tells the story 
of a manly, courageous patriot. Not for a moment did he 
deny his warm friendship for the deposed monarch; not for 
a moment did he seek to protect himself by deserting his 
old comrade. It was with Penn, The king is dead, God 
save the king ! Not that I owe allegience to him now when 
he is not king, but he was my friend. I am loyal to that 
friendship alone which descended to me from my father; 
but you, Sir, are now the king of England, and I am first 
of all a loyal, patriotic Englishman, and my service is to the 
King. This was William Penn s acknowledgement, and it 
did him honor, as a true gentleman ; any other attitude would 
have been impossible from the Quaker standpoint. 

Penn s intimacy with James was so close that it might well 
have fallen under the ban of suspicion, and it led to many 
interesting occurrences. Before the deposition of James, 
John Locke, the philosopher and intimate of Penn, found it 
convenient to go to Holland, during the Monmouth insurrec 
tion of 65, as his friend and patron, Lord Shaftsbury, was 
identified as a partisan of the Pretender. The suggestion 
that he was disloyal was a cowardly intimation from the 
enemies of both. Penn, knowing this and Locke s innocence, 
sent word to his friend, assuring him of the king s friend 
ship, pardon or amnesty, and bade him return to England. 
Locke replied that "he had no occasion for a pardon, having 


committed no crimes," and refused to return. Penn made 
no reply, biding his time, which came in 1691, when he, in 
turn, was under suspicion of aiding King James, and living 
very quietly in retirement. 

Locke now was in high favor with King William, and 
calling to mind the good offices of his friend Penn when he 
was in exile, hunted him up in his retreat in London, recalled 
the incident, and in turn assured his old university friend of 
a pardon, and the good will of William. It can well be 
imagined that William Penn met John Locke with a naive 
pretense at dignity, as he declined the offer, with the remark 
that "The innocent need no pardon." Nevertheless John 
Locke used his good offices for Penn, as nothing but a friend 
at Court could have protected Penn, an outspoken and 
valued friend of the deposed Papist King, from greater 

In all the troubled history of the Quakers in the Colony, 
during changes of party, the Quakers were always loyal to 
the government. They never plotted against it, were never 
shown to be active partisans; their sole objective was reform, 
and their warnings and teachings were directed to all the 
world, irrespective of party or king. This was Penn s doc 
trine, who said : "Meddle not with government ; never speak 
of it; let others say or do as they please. I have said little 
to you about distributing justice, or being just in power or 
government, for I should desire you should never be con 
cerned therein." Morality, peace, liberty, justice were words 
the Quakers never even lost sight of. Sunday was not alone 
the Lord s day, but every day from the first to the seventh 
was lived well and faithfully to man and God. 

The attitude of the Friends to the Indians has given them 


widespread fame and honor. There is hardly a dealing with 
the Indians from the early days to the twentieth century that 
does not carry a reflection in it to the white man; but this 
cannot be said of the Quaker. He treated the Indians fairly. 
He paid them, kept his word, treated them with respect, did 
not sell them liquor, and in no one instance over-reached 
them. In many colonies it was the policy of certain rene 
gade whites to intoxicate the Indian, to obtain his land or 
over-reach him. In Pennsylvania, when there was a trial of 
an Indian by jury, Penn saw to it that it was composed of 
red men and white men, equally divided. Penn could have 
made a vast fortune by allowing certain men to deal exclu 
sively with the Indians, but he refused all such offers, to his 
eternal honor. 

The Friends were ever solicitous of the welfare of the 
Indians, and as the country was gradually settled up, the 
Quakers, as John Woolman, Zebulon Heston, John Parish 
and others, followed them up, and then when what might 
be called the Indian line had been pushed one hundred or 
more miles west of the Ohio, the Indians sent word to Phila 
delphia asking that some Friend might come to them to give 
them religious instruction. In 1791 a great Seneca chief 
visited Philadelphia and asked the Friends to undertake the 
education of his son and several other Indian boys. During 
the Indian war of 1792 the Quakers endeavored to stop it, 
and at the request of the Indians, Quakers attended the treaty 
at Sandusky. During the treaty of Canandaigua, in 1794, 
the Friends were represented by William Savary, who met 
sixteen hundred Indians, and it was mainly due to the 
Quakers that peace was declared. The Friends at their 
request appointed men to live with them, and began to teach 


them agriculture and carpentering. They opened schools for 
the native children; young Indian girls were taken into 
Quaker families and taught the domestic arts in many lines. 

In 1798 the Senecas also requested Quaker teachers to join 
them, and three Friends were appointed and carried on a 
plan of practical education at Genesanghota. The Friends 
expended large sums on the Indians; but their work was 
always interfered with by avaricious whites who were con 
tinually trying to force the Indians west. This was espe 
cially true in the case of the Allegheny Reservation, and was 
the beginning of the raids on the Indians, against which the 
Quakers always protested and which were a disgrace to the 
administration of Indian affairs. 

In 1819 the Quakers memoralized Congress, saying: 
"With deep concern we have observed a disposition spread 
ing in the United States to consider the Indians as an incum- 
brance to the community, and their residence within our bor 
ders as an obstruction to the progressive improvements arid 
opulence of the nation." 

In 1818 the Friends opened an Indian School at Cattarau- 
gus, and in 1820 one at Tunesassah, under the care of a 
Friend. Never did the Quakers lose sight of the fact that 
the Indians were the legitimate owners of the soil. The 
Catholic Duke of York laughed at his friend William Penn 
for paying the Indians after he had given up his eighty thou 
sand dollars for Pennsylvania; but this was always the 
policy of the Quakers, not to avoid trouble, but because it 
was right and a matter of personal honor. They spent large 
sums on the education of the Indians because they consid 
ered it a moral obligation. This care of the Indians has 
never ceased. It has been the chief object of the Mohonk 


Conferences and of many Quaker societies, especially of the 
New England Yearly Meeting. 

The treatment of the American Indian has been a blot on 
the American honor; but the efforts of the Quakers have 
greatly mitigated many of the more than shameful outrages. 

In 1712 the Friends made an attempt through the Legis 
lature to stop the selling of slaves in Pennsylvania. 
William Southeby headed the movement, and soon after 
the Yearly Meeting took up the matter and made a vigorous 
campaign against it. 

I once saw a slaver captured by an American frigate 
brought into a Southern port and the helpless negroes turned 
into a barracoon on the beach like cattle. Little wonder the 
Friends early resented slavery in America. Labor was scarce 
in the early colonies, and Naragansett Bay became a fruitful 
field for the Guinea slaves. In 1717 the Yearly Meeting 
at Newport took the matter up in the following minute : 

"A weighty concern being on this Meeting concerning the importing 
and keeping slaves, this Meeting, therefore, refers to it in the consid 
eration of Friends everywhere to waite for ye wisdom of God how to 
discharge themselves in that weighty affair, and it desires it may be 
brought up from our Monthly and Quarterly Meetings to our next 
Yearly Meeting, and also yt merchants do write their correspondents 
in the islands and elsewhere to discourage their sending any more 
(slaves) in order to be sold by Friends here." 

Ten years later the same Meeting issued the following 
minute : 

"It is the sense of this Meeting, that the importation of Negroes 
from their native country and relations is not a commendable nor 
allowable practice and that practice is censured by this Meeting." 

Frequent reference to slaves are found in the minutes of 
the Sandwich Meeting, and several Friends were disowned 
for beating slaves. In 1711 the following minute appears: 


"A paper being presented to this Meeting from the Friend who was 
disowned for unmercifully beating her Negro, wherein she desires to 
come into unity with Friends, and ye sense of this Meeting is that she 
should wait until Friends have a sense that she is still to be accepted, 
and Eleazer Slocum and William Soule are appointed to give her ye 
mind of the Meeting." 

Thomas Hazard of South Kingstown, R. I., made a vigor 
ous stand against slavery, and gradually in 1743-4 ^ ^U 
into disrepute as the following minutes show : 

"4/9/1743. It being represented by the Quarterly Meeting of Rhode 
Island that the practice of keeping slaves is a matter of uneasiness to 
many concerned Friends, and the minutes formerly made by this Meet 
ing being also considered, it is agreed by this Meeting that we request 
by our Epistles to the Yearly Meeting of Friends in Pennsylvania an 
account of what they have done in the matter." 

"4/7/1744. By the Epistle we have received from Philadelphia con 
cerning slaves, this Meeting is encouraged to revive and recommend 
to Friends the careful observation of the minute of this Meeting made 
in 1717 concerning that matter, and that they also refrain from buying 
them when imported, and to make return by the Epistles from the sev 
eral Quarterly Meetings how the same is observed." 

In 1 760 John Woolman came to New England again and 
worked vigorously to create a sentiment in favor of the abol 
ishment of slavery. In 1773 the Yearly meeting issued the 

"In regard to the Query from Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting, pro 
posing the freeing of all slaves, it is our sense and judgment that Truth 
not only requires the young of capacity and ability, but likewise the 
aged and impotent, and all in a state of infancy and nonage, among 
Friends to be discharged and set free from a state of slavery that we 
do no more claim property in the human race as we do in the brutes 
that perish." 

Soon after this Stephen Hopkins was disowned for hold 
ing a woman slave, and Moses Brown, founder of Brown 
University and the Friends School at Providence, an inti 
mate friend of Hopkins, set all his slaves at liberty and 


joined the Quakers. Singularly enough, the bill the Rhode 
Island Legislature passed in 1774 forbidding slavery was 
designed and fathered by the disowned Stephen Hopkins, 
one of the distinguished men of his time. This law was the 
result of the following minute adopted by the Yearly Meet 
ing of Rhode Island in 1774*. 

"This Meeting manifesting a concern that the liberty of the Africans 
might be fully restored, we appoint our Friends Thomas Hazard, 
Ezekiel Comstock, Thomas Lapham, Jr., Stephen Hoxie, Joseph 
Congdon, Isaac Lawton and Moses Farnum, a committee to use their 
influence at the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island, or 
with the members thereof, that such laws may be made as will tend 
to the abolition of slavery, and to get such laws repealed as in any way 
encourages it." 

While George Fox protested against slavery early in his 
career, in the seventeenth century, slavery existed in America 
long afterward, and in the middle of the eighteenth century 
the Quakers of New Jersey owned over eleven hundred 
negroes. The English law permitted it. The Quakers were 
the first to free their slaves, and the beginning of the end 
came in 1758, when John Woolman made his famous 
appeal. In 1800 there were 12,442 slaves in New Jersey, 
but thanks to the Quaker, John Woolman, Friends had 
almost invariably given them liberty. 

John Woolman aroused the New York Friends against 
slavery, and in 1776 the Meeting began to disown Friends 
who owned slaves, and the practice was soon abolished. 
William Penn was a slave owner, but when he went to Eng 
land in 1701 he wrote: "I give my blacks their freedom." 
Yet long before this the Keithans, in 1693, declared against 
slavery. In 1711 the Friends of Chester opposed it. In 
1712 a Friend, William Southeby, endeavored to influence 
the Legislature to abolish slavery in Pennsylvania. They 


did pass a law placing a duty of one hundred dollars on 
every slave, but the Queen repealed it. 

The Friends continued their anti-slavery crusade until 
1774, when nearly all the Friends had liberated their slaves. 
Then the Quakers began to disown members holding them 
without reserve, and the end of slavery among the Pennsyl 
vania Quakers came. 

In early days John Edmundson had waged war against 
slavery in Maryland and Virginia, with little success. In 
1760 Southern Friends began to awaken to the enormity of 
the trade. Wenlock Christison, the martyr, was a slave 
owner and dealer. He bought white emigrant slaves when 
sold for debt, and owned black slaves, the custom being so 
common that apparently it had never occurred to him that 
it was a crime against humanity. Samuel Fothergill of 
England and John Woolman in 1757 aroused the Southern 
Friends. Fothergill said, with deep emotion: "The price 
of blood is upon that province (Maryland). Directly the 
question was raised some Friends gave their slaves liberty 
and began the crusade. The end came slowly in the South, 
but after the Revolution practically all Quakers in the 
Southern states had released their slaves. Whittier s "Penn 
sylvania Pilgrim," Pastorious, will be remembered as a 
Quaker who denounced slavery. In the year 1688 Pastorious 
drew up a memorial against slaveholding, which was adopted 
by the Germantown Friends and sent up to the Monthly 
Meeting, and thence to the Yearly Meeting at Philadelphia. 
It is noteworthy as the first protest made by a religious body 
against Negro Slavery. The original document was discov 
ered in 1844 by Nathan Kite, and published in "The 
Friend." It is a bold and direct appeal to the best instincts 


of the heart. "Have not," he asks, "these negroes as much 
right to fight for their freedom as you have to keep them 

""And oft Pastorious and the meek old man 
Argued as Quaker and as Lutheran, 
Ending in Christian love as they began." 
* * * * * 

While the Quakers were fighting there existed a peculiar 
enslaving just before the Revolution which it was difficult 
to break up. Many of the immigrants who came out to the 
Colony were of two classes indented servants who had 
bound themselves for a term of years under contract, and 
"free willers," or redemptionists, who had stipulated with 
the captain of the ship that in lieu of their passage money 
he could sell them to the highest bidder on their arrival, thus 
recouping himself. From copies of these agreements in the 
Pennsylvania Historical Society it is seen that the usual price 
for a three-years service was 21 and two suits of clothes 
a grubbing hoe, a weeding hoe and an axe. These people, 
as a rule, were not acceptable to the Friends, yet a number 
of Irish Friends were so poor and so anxious to come to this 
country that they pocketed their pride and came in this way. 
In the Pennsylvania Messenger for January 18, 1774, is 
found the following: "Germans We are now offering fifty 
Germans, just arrived, to be seen at the Golden Swan, kept 
by the Widow Kreider. The lot includes schoolmasters, 
artisans, peasants, boys and girls of various ages, all to serve 
for payment of passage." D. Von Bulo writes in a Boston 
paper, 1797: "It is easy to sell the farmers, but there are 
often men whom it is not so easy to dispose of, e. g., officers 
and scholars. I have seen a Russian captain offered for 
eight days for sale and not a bid made. He had absolutely 


no market value. He was finally offered at a discount of 
fifty per cent., and walked about the town by the captain 
to show his good parts. But this was no avail, and at last, 
in desperation, the captain sold him for little or nothing as 
a village schoolmaster." Sculcleff says, that as late as 1804, 
"I saw many families, particularly in Pennsylvania, of great 
respectability, both in our society and amongst others who 
had come over themselves as redemptionists, or were children 
of such. "This method has been employed in late years to 
secure cheap imported labor. 




In the years following the arrival of the Christopher 
Holder party of 1656, and the Penn colonization scheme of 
1680, there was a constant migration of Friends from the 
central points. Long before the settlement of Pennsylvania, 
Christopher Holder and Josiah Cole and others had traveled 
through New York, New Jersey and various parts of the 
country, and their reports were the means of creating a con 
stant westward and southern movement. This was partic 
ularly true of New England. The constant ill-treatment, 
and the hope of a betterment of physical conditions, induced 
Quakers to migrate. Nantucket, as we have seen was almost 
decimated, and to-day the names of Macy, Coffin, Starbuck 
and others are found all through the South and West, the 
descendants of the famous Quaker pioneers of Nantucket, 
who by a rigorous system of elimination accomplished their 
own undoing, so far as Nantucket was concerned. New 
Jersey was settled by whites as early as 1630, but the first 
definite band of Quakers in this state settled on the Raritan 
in 1663. Soon after this, in 1666, Pearsons appeared, and 
settlements were made in Piscataway, Woodbridge and 
Newark. A strong family of Lynn Quakers, the Bassetts, 
sent a delegation to New Jersey early in its history, and 
towns and settlements took form, some becoming important 
centers, as Shrewsbury, largely settled from Massachusetts. 

The region now so crossed and re-crossed by roads and 
railroads between New Jersey and Delaware was then a 
trackless wilderness, over which the pioneer Quakers passed, 


unarmed, except with faith an extraordinary weapon with 
which to pacify the American savage, the original owner of 
the soil. The old "Burlington Path" of the Quakers and 
others became well known, and as early as 1695 two stop 
ping places were to be found, crude inns, which sheltered 
George Fox, Josiah Cole, Christopher Holder and other 
Friends of the early and later days. 

The Dutch held New Jersey until 1664, when the English 
took it by force, and the vast region between the Hudson and 
the Delaware was given over to Sir George Carteret and 
Lord Berkley. The former was Governor of the Island of* 
Jersey at this time, and in his honor the new possession was 
called New Jersey. Carteret and Berkley were interesting 
characters. They were indebted to their friend, the Duke 
of York, for the large tract. Lord Berkley s brother was 
Governor of Virginia, and in 1674 was Ambassador to 
France. Carteret was a cavalier, courtier, man of fashion, a 
clever man of the world; a particular friend of Samuel 
Pepys, who often refers to him, and being more or less of 
a tody, doubtless appreciated his gallant friend, Sir George, 
the scion of the old and distinguished Norman family de 
Carteret of St. Owen. 

In 1673 the Dutch re-captured New Jersey, but a new 
treaty was made by which New Netherlands again came into 
the hands of the British, and Lord Berkley, now an old man, 
transferred his interest to John Fenwick and Edward 
Billinge for five thousand dollars. Thus in 1674, what is 
now New Jersey, was owned by two Quakers, as Pennsyl 
vania was later owned by William Penn. 

In all probability, this was a movement in the interests of 
the Society of Friends at large, as ultimately, as we have 


seen, the property was transferred to the hands of William 
Penn as an arbitrator between the two Quaker owners, who 
became involved in a disagreeable contention regarding their 
respective rights. Many Englishmen had bought property 
in west New Jersey, and in 1677 two large companies of 
Friends, one from London and one from Yorkshire, sailed 
for the promised land, with the blessing of the King, who, 
it happened, was yachting in the Thames at the hour of sail 
ing. It can also be imagined that his Majesty had no keen 
regrets at the loss of Quakers. 

The two hundred and thirty Quakers landed from the Kent 
on the Delaware, and formed a settlement to which they 
finally gave the name of Burlington. They treated with the 
Indians, bought lands from them in an honorable way, after 
the Quaker fashion, many non-Quakers later repudiating 
them, recognizing the rights of the English as sole owners. 
Many ships now came, landing Quakers at Salem and Bur 
lington, and in 1681 it was estimated that the Quakers num 
bered fourteen hundred. They, doubtless, remembered the 
adjuration of Fox: "My friends that are gone or are going 
over to plant and make outward plantations in America, 
keep your own plantations in your hearts with the spirit 
and power of God, that your own vines and lilies be not 

Carteret retained East Jersey, and West Jersey became a 
Quaker colony on lines unquestionably laid down by 
William Penn, who was the author of the great charter of 
New Jersey; though, doubtless, many who had visited the 
region and knew it well, as Josiah Cole, Burnyeat, Holder, 
Fox, Edmundson, Gove and others, were consulted. We can 
well conceive that William Penn s friends, John Locke and 


Algernon Sidney were also his advisers. Trials and tribula 
tions without end were the experiences of these aliens; but 
few were discouraged, their numbers being continually aug 

The first meeting-house was the canopy of the trees, as 
the "Woodhouse" party held their meetings in Christopher 
Holder s Hollow at Sandwich, the first meeting in America. 
The first house of worship was made out of sail-cloth, and 
when a log house or home was built it was used until a 
meeting-house could be erected. 

Among the first ministers were Thomas Olin and William 
Peachy. Seven months from the first settlement of Burling 
ton, the first Monthly Meeting was established, of which the 
following is a minute: 

"Since, by the good providence of God, many Friends with their 
families have transported themselves into this province of West Jer 
sey, the said Friends in these upper parts have found it needful, accord 
ing to the practice in the place we came from, to settle Monthly 
Meetings, for the well ordering of the affairs of the church; it was 
agreed that accordingly it should be done, the 15th of the Fifth Month, 

Here in the wilderness, surrounded by savages, these 
gentle folk established themselves. The colonies grew rap 
idly. The Burlington Quarterly Meeting was established 
in 1680 and in 1681 a Yearly Meeting was discussed and 
carried into effect on the sixth month following. There were 
now meetings at Newton Creek, a Monthly Meeting in 
Cooper s and Woodbury Creek, and a Monthly Meeting was 
formed of Salem and Newton. Meetings sprang up at Ran- 
cocas, Shackamaxon, Chester, Hoorkills and Newcastle. The 
first epistle sent from New Jersey to the London Yearly 
Meeting is dated at Burlington, 1680, and the names signed 


to it are well represented in West Jersey today. Among 
them are Shotwell, Bassett, Wardell, Budd, Peachy, 
Brightown, Gardiner, Powell, Bourton, Woolston, Pum- 
phrey, Ellis, Jennings, Satterthwaite, Coips, Butler, Butcher, 
Grubb, Leeds, Stacey, Barton, Hollinshed, Lambert, Kin- 
sey, Pleft, Cooper, Shin, Billes, Hewlings, Fretwell, Eares, 
Clark, Paine, Arnold. Many of these families later moved 
to Pennsylvania and established their names in Philadelphia, 
where they are well known to-day as staunch Friends. 

New ministers were continually coming to the Colony, as 
John Butcher of London, Samuel Jennings, John Skein. In 
1679 Sir George Carteret died, and it was found that his will 
contained a clause directing the sale of East Jersey. The 
colonization of West Jersey was eminently successful. The 
region was populated in leaps and bounds. Vast areas of 
land were sold and the colonists appeared to be so well satis 
fied that a number of Friends, including William Penn, 
Robert West, Thomas Rudyard, Samuel Groome, Thomas 
Hart, Richard Mew, Thomas Wilcox, Ambrose Rigg, John 
Hayword, Hugh Hartshorne, Clement Plumstead and 
Thomas Cooper decided to buy it. At this time there was 
virtually war between the followers of Cameron and the 
Royalists in Scotland, and hearing that numbers of Scotch 
men desired to immigrate, the twelve Quaker proprietors of 
East Jersey doubtless made a clever bid for Scotch Quakers 
by extending the proprietary to twelve others, among whom 
were many distinguished Scotchmen, as the famous Quaker 
author, Robert Barclay, Robert Gorden, Lord Drummond, 
the Earl of Perth, Aarent Sonnemans, Gawen Lawrie and 
Robert West. The year following Robert Barclay was 
elected governor of East Jersey, no walso a Quaker colony. 


The position was for life. His deputy was Thomas Rudyard, 
and later Gawen Lawrie. This was undoubtedly a bait to 
induce Robert Barclay of Urie to come to America, and add 
his undoubted influence and strength to the Quaker move 
ment; but while he accepted the governorship, he never left 
England, and ruled through his deputy. 

Scotch, English and Irish Quakers now came into the 
Colony, induced by the attractions held out by the Proprie 
tors; and the Quakers became a dominant power in the Jer 
seys under the skillful Executive Board, the Council of Pro 
prietors. Upon the accession of Queen Anne, in 1702, this 
powerful and influential council surrendered its rights of 
government, but retained its proprietary rights. The incom 
ing of the Scots resulted in a remarkable schism, due to a 
friend of the Barclays, one George Keith of Keith Hall, 
Aberdeenshire, who became a so-called "Christian Quaker," 
and is referred to elsewhere. 

In 1682 the second Yearly Meeting of New Jersey found 
a remarkable increase in the numbers of Quakers. Three 
hundred and sixty came in one ship, and the news which 
they brought that William Penn had secured a vast domain 
to the south and west, and was to establish a great Quaker 
colony, aroused profound enthusiasm. It is interesting to 
note the decided difference between the Quakers of East and 
West Jersey. The West, populated directly from England, 
held more decidedly to English ways and customs, while 
East Jersey had received many of its settlers from the New 
England Puritan Colonies, and was more rigorous and stern. 
This was even illustrated and evident in the laws and various 

During the rapid development of the country the Quakers 


filled many of the highest offices. Samuel Jennings was 
speaker in the Assembly until his death in 1709, and pre 
vious to this was governor, with a salary of six hundred 
acres of land beyond the Delaware Falls. Thomas Olive 
was also a Quaker governor, while George Deacon, Benja 
min Wheat, Thomas Gardiner and others filled many offices 
with credit, and gave to the Colony a reputation for the 
observance of law and justice which holds to-day in New 

The various meetings grew rapidly and were often visited 
by distinguished Friends from England. The Jersey Quakers 
were as conscientious in their dealings with the Indians as 
were Penn s followers in the neighboring colony later on. 
They opened their meeting-houses to Indians and negroes, 
and in every way endeavored to carry out the great princi 
ples of altruism; that they were successful is shown by the 
last words of King Ockanickon at Burlington in 1681 : 
"This day I deliver my heart into your bosom. I would 
have you love what is good and keep good company. Be 
plain and fair with all Indians and Christians." Noble 
language for a savage king to his heir. One of the most 
important of the Indian Conferences of New Jersey was held 
at Burlington in 1758, and later the six nations met at 
Easton, Pennsylvania, when the Indians gave up all their 
claims to land in New Jersey, with a small exception, for 
one thousand pounds. An Indian reservation was estab 
lished on three thousand acres in what is now Indian Mills, 
Burlington County, the last of the tribe being removed to 
Indian Territory in 1832. John Woolman led the work 
with Indians and accomplished much good He also became 
an active force in liberating negro slaves, as Friends owned 


slaves in the early days, and in 1800 there were twelve 
thousand, four hundred and forty-two negro slaves in New 
Jersey. It is due to Woolman that few were owned by 
Quakers, the custom rapidly falling into disrepute. 

As elsewhere, the Quakers suffered for their views against 
war. They would not join the army of defense when the 
Indians rose, nor would they vote for arms and powder, 
even when it was more than evident that it was needed. 
This may be said to have been a dominant note in the loss 
of political influence among Quakers. They were appreci 
ated for their virtues, but they were also considered "unsafe" 
and impracticable when faced with Indians aroused by peo 
ples and colonists not Quakers, and the result was similar 
to that in Pennsylvania. The Quakers were gradually 
divested of their political influence. The Jersey Quakers 
were particularly interested in education. A large majority 
came from families of importance, and they soon estab 
lished schools of various kinds, and stood at the head in 
refinement and cultivation and education in the Colony. It 
is interesting to glance at the names of the old pioneers. The 
names of Morris, Dillwyn, Cox, Kinsey, Smith, Lloyd, 
Bassett, Bidall, Biddle, Hacker, Boice, Newhall, Kite, and 
many more, and note how they have been perpetuated and 
are still pillars of strength in Pennsylvania and New Jersey 

The following is a list of ministers and elders of Burling 
ton Quarterly Meeting, 2 mo. 1767: John Sykes, 
Joannah Sykes, Josiah Foster, John Butker, Mary Bunting, 
Samuel Satterthwaite, Thomas Buzby, William Morris, 
Daniel Smith, Joseph Burr, Jane Burr, Jacob Andrews, 
Josiah White, Daniel Doughty, Edith Doughty, Joseph 


Noble, Edward Cathrel, Rachel Cathrel, Elizabeth Wool- 
man, Elizabeth Borden, Katherine Kalender, Ebenezer Mot, 
William Lowrie, Benjamin Field, Edward Whitcraft, An 
thony Benezet, Joyce Benezet, Sarah Newbold, Hannah 
Bickerdike, Elizabeth Shinn, John Smith, Peter Worral, 
Susannah Worral, Benjamin Jones,, Elizabeth Jones, 
Thomas Middleton, Patience Middleton, Elizabeth Smith, 
Mary Brown, Jane Smith, Sarah English, Amos Middle- 
ton, Samuel Worth, Joseph Homer, Samuel Gaunt, Meri- 
beth Fowler, Anthony Sykes, Peter Harvey, Mary Harvey, 
Mary Buzby, John Sleeper, Caleb Carr, Katherine Weth- 
eril, Asher Woolman, Esther Hatkinson, Elizabeth Hatkin- 
son, Sarah Woolman, Abner Woolman, John Woolman, 
William Jones. 


In 1663, attempts were being made to induce settlers to 
take up land in the Carolinas. Sir John Carleton was inter 
ested in the subject and he wrote to the Duke of Albemarle, 
saying that the proposed settlers would not come without an 
assurance of liberty of conscience. This brought a prompt 
assurance from the Proprietors, who replied that they "will 
grant in as ample a manner as the undertakers shall desire 
freedom and liberty of conscience in all religious or spiritual 
things, and to be kept inviolably with them, we having 
power in our charter so to do." Not only this, the Proprie 
tors were so anxious for settlers, very much after the modern 
land scheme fashion, that they were willing to allow would- 
be settlers to select a governor of their own persuasion, 
"some persons that are for liberty of conscience may desire 
a governor of their own persuasion." Later on, in 1665, 
when George Fox was in Scarborough Castle and the plague 
was devastating London, the Proprietors made a proposition 
to Sir John Yeamans which provided that "no person * * 
* * shall be any way molested, punished, disquieted, or 
called in question or practice in matters of religious con 
cernment." This and many other assurances were made to 
the Quakers, who entered the southern colony full of hope 
and religious zeal, and became, as they were elsewhere, 
model citizens in every respect. Once on the ground, and 
in possession of land, they were more or less at the mercy 
of those who induced them to go south, and despite all the 


promises they fell under the ban and were treated with great 
severity and injustice. In Virginia the governor and assist 
ants were all powerful; the only appeal was to the King, 
and as he appointed the governor, he generally agreed with 

In Georgia the Quakers were protected by the charter, 
while in North and South Carolina the Dissenters had their 
rights in black and white in the charter and fundamental 
constitutions, though the degree of toleration was vested in 
the judicial mind of the proprietor. In a word, there were 
laws which on their face were liberal and just, but if the 
interpreter of the laws was a violent churchman, with an 
ecclesiastical program, a protagonist of the establishment of 
the English Church, the Dissenter would doubtless not find 
a bed of roses. It is a fact that an ecclesiastical program, 
having for its goal the establishment of the Church of Eng 
land in the Southern Colonies, was in the air ; but it was not 
attempted in the Carolinas until 1698, during which period 
the Quakers had become a force and power in the colonies. 
Virginia was the second colony in which Quakerism was 
preached. Elizabeth Harris of London having entered the 
colony in 1658, the year of the Woodhouse party in New 
England, and made a number of converts, one being Robert 
Clarkson of Gloucester County. Thomas Thurston and 
Josiah Cole of Bristol entered Virginia in 1657 and were 
promptly banished, after imprisonment and much ill-treat 
ment. This attracted more Quakers instead of acting as a 
warning, and William Robinson, Robert Hodgson and 
Christopher Holder soon arrived to spread the word. 

The most stringent laws were now enacted in Virginia 
against the Quakers, and the story is practically that of New 


England. Shipmasters who smuggled in Quakers were fined 
five hundred dollars, and on the third return of a Quaker 
after banishment he was treated as a felon. It is unneces 
sary to dwell on the horrors of this period in Virginia; but 
despite the ill-treatment the Quakers increased in numbers. 
William Edmundson was the founder of the sect in North 
Carolina, and attracted a large following to the region by 
his preaching, as he traveled over the country. 

Despite ill-treatment, the Quakers moved on and on, first 
to Virginia and Maryland, then pushing into the Carolinas, 
where large meetings were built up, as New Garden, Cane 
Creek, Deep River in North Carolina, and Bush River and 
others in South Carolina. In 1771 the South received a 
strong and virile immigration from Nantucket Island, which 
explains the names of Macy, Swann, Coffin, Starbuck, 
Folger, Bernard, Bunker, Wickersham, Dixon and others in 
the vicinity of Guilford County, North Carolina. From 
these regions came the great migrations of Friends to the 
Middle West. George Rofe in 1661 found many settled 
meetings in Maryland. George Fox visited Maryland in 
1672 and held many important meetings. In the same year 
he went to North Carolina and encouraged the Quakers, 
carrying out the policy of visitations which is so prominent 
a feature of these people. 

It would be difficult to speak of Quakerism in South Caro 
lina without referring to John Archdale, Quaker Governor, 
General and Landgreve, who in 1694 drew a salary of one 
thousand dollars per annum. Some time between 1673 and 
1681 he became a Quaker and his appointment as Governor 
was an appreciation of his talents as a diplomat, and with 
the hope that it would heal the breach between the Dis- 


senters and the church party, and settle the disputes regard 
ing the tenure of land, the payment of quit rents and various 
other questions. Archdale was given what were practically 
unlimited powers. One of his acts was to see that the 
Quakers had liberty of conscience. He was a "free Quaker," 
apparently, as he administered a military law, yet he secured 
the passage of an act, of 1695-6, which exempted the 
Quakers in time of war, and when the Quakers were men 
aced he wrote, in so many words, to Sir Nathaniel Johnson : 
"If you persist in oppressing this free people, they will leave 
the Colony and go to Pennsylvania, where they can have 
justice. When people are living in a wilderness they expect 
an enlargement of their privileges, not a lessening." Under 
Archdale the Colony grew and prospered. From 1725 to 
1775 there was a constant inflow of Quakers from Pennsyl 
vania and New York, New England and from the mother 
country. These movements often had much to do with land 
settlements. Great tracts weere obtained by some enterpris 
ing speculator; a grant would be secured, and Quakers in 
duced to settle on it. In this way hundreds of Friends wan 
dered on and on, and have now reached the Pacific coast, 
where there is one of the most flourishing colonies in America. 
The migrations of Friends continued to the South until 
1775, when Georgia was settled. Slavery had always been 
the menace among Quakers, and when they found that they 
could not stop it, they determined to leave a country where 
it existed; and it was this reason, to a large extent, which 
produced in 1800 the remarkable migration of Quakers from 
the South and Southeast, over the mountains to Ohio and 
Indiana. The movement was not a surrender. It was a 
protest against a system that Quakers denounced in the sev- 


enteenth century, and which all civilized nations threw off 
as a relic of barbarism in the nineteenth century, a tardy 
recognition of the Quakers who had been virtually fighting 
slavery for two hundred years. 

It would be interesting to follow in detail the remarkable 
experiences of the Quakers in the early days of the South, 
their marches across plain and mountains to the West. In 
the early days slaves were owned by some Quakers in all 
the colonies. In 1772 the Virginia Yearly Meeting, and a 
little later the North Carolina, after many protests, aided 
and abetted by John Woolman and Anthony Benzenet, who 
had been working on the subject for years, denounced all 
members who persisted in owning slaves. This was the 
beginning, and aided by certain other causes, the western 
migration began. There are many Quakers in the South 
to-day; but the North Carolina Yearly Meeting embraces 
that state and Tennessee, and the entire number of Quakers 
in the South is not over ten thousand. While the west 
ern movement depleted the South, it aided materially in 
strengthening Quakerism at large, as strong and vigorous 
communities were built up in the West, where to-day the 
Quakers are strong and a growing sect. As in 1787 slavery 
was excluded from the country north of Ohio, this region 
became an attractive point, and the Quakers rapidly poured 
in from the South. Regarding this movement, Wm. H. 
Coffin of Pasadena writes : 

"Wm. Hunt of Guilford County, North Carolina, was a noted min 
ister of his day. He died in England while there on a religious visit, 
His son, Nathan Hunt, was one of the ablest ministers of his day. He 
also traveled much, and died an old man at his home in North Caro 
lina in 1853. He was the father of Asenath Clark and the grandfather 
of her son, Dr. Dougan Clark, both of whom were able spiritual min- 


isters down to recent years. Jeremiah Hubbard, whom some living, 
among the old people, yet recollect, was a contemporary of Nathan 
Hunt and was considered one of the most learned and eloquent men 
of his day. He was an educator, traveled much in the ministry and was 
many years in advance of his generation in the liberality of his views. 
Many were converted under his stirring and fearless ministry and many 
new ministers brought out and recorded. He was one-fourth Chero 
kee Indian, six feet six inches high, long black hair, and a striking, 
dignified figure, and the revivalist of his day. His death occurred in 
Wayne County, Indiana, in 1850. Isaac Hammer and Wm. Williams 
were also noted ministers, who removed to Tennessee about 
1800, where quite a body of Friends had settled. Wm. Williams, after 
many years, removed again to Wayne County, Indiana, where he died. 
All the territory north of the Ohio River having been organized and 
slavery excluded therefrom by the ordinance of 1787, and opened for 
settlement, Friends, especially from the South, began at once to 
remove to such a land so rich in resources. Thomas Bales, a minister 
of New Garden, North Carolina, with a few others, removed and set 
tled in 1782. He is said to have been the first white emigrant amongst 
Friends to settle in Ohio. He died in 1801 and was buried in a coffin 
dug out of a log, no lumber then being available. The first large 
emigration after this came from a Monthly Meeting in Contentuca 
Quarter, North Carolina, the members of which removed in a body, 
taking their certificates and laying down their meeting, by consent of 
the Quarter ,and settling in Ohio in 1800. 

"Emigrations followed with increasing volume to the Miami Coun 
try and its tributaries, and Miama Monthly and Quarterly Meetings 
were established in 1803. Many Friends came in from Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, but the most from the Carolinas and Georgia, until all the 
meetings in South Carolina and Georgia were laid down and very 
many in North Carolina and Virginia. Zachary Dix, an able minister 
of Cane Creek Meeting, North Carolina, who also was supposed to 
have a prophetic gift, visited Bush River Quarterly Meeting, South 
Carolina, in 1803. It was a large meeting of several hundred members, 
with a large new meeting-house. He got up with the words, Oh, 
Bush River, Bush River, how is thy glory become dimmed, and gloom 
ing darkness eclipsed thy day, and predicted a bloody war on account 
of slavery in the lives of the children then living, and advised Friends 
to get away from there. 

"This produced a panic and in a few years all had sold and gone 
to the Miami Country, Ohio. Such families as Furnas, Spray, Cox, Mills, 
Wilson, Jay, Wright, Evans, Coates, Hollingsworth, Cook, Jones, 


Thomas, Miles, Cammack, Lewis and others, many of whom and their 
children afterward removed to other parts of Ohio and Indiana, and 
we find their names all over the West. David Hoover, his father and 
brothers, Friends from Randolph County, North Carolna, cut their 
way through the dense woods from Stillwater, Ohio, to the White 
Water in Indiana, in 1805, where Richmond now is. I knew him well, 
as he lived until 1866 and died on the same land he then entered. 
Thomas Symons, my uncle, went fifteen miles farther, being the first 
settler on West Fork, at Milton. A great emigration followed these 
pioneers, mostly from Randolph and Guilford Counties, North Caro 
lina, and large meetings of Friends were established all over the best 
parts of Indiana and eastern Illinois, all being subject to Indiana Yearly 
Meeting, which was set up in 1821 at Richmond, Indiana, and was the 
progenitor of all the Yearly Meetings in the West. Western, Iowa, 
Wilmington and Kansas, the Pacific Coast Yearly Meeting was set 
up by Iowa Yearly Meeting. 

"The western migration did not take all the Friends from the Caro- 
linas. In 1855 there were over a thousand Quakers living in North 
Carolina, and by 1895 they had increased to over six thousand. There 
are now eight Quarterly Meetings in the state; the Eastern, with a 
membership of three hundred and ninety-five; Western, nine hundred 
and fifty-four; Southern, eight hundred and fifty-six; Deep River, eight 
hundred and forty-three; New Garden, six hundred and four; Content- 
wold, six hundred and eighty-seven; Yadken Valley, eleven hundred; 
Surrey, seven hundred and twenty-seven. These eight Quarterly 
Meetings include twenty-seven Monthly Meetings, and in the Yearly 
Meeting there are sixty-one recorded ministers. 

"It might be interesting here to give the names of a few of the 
pioneer settlers who were the foremost, leading men in Ohio and Indi 
ana among Friends in Indiana Yearly Meeting from 1820 or before to 
1850. Elijah Coffin, who had been Clerk of North Carolna Yearly 
Meeting, was in 1827 appointed Clerk of Indiana Yearly Meeting soon 
after his removal West, and served continuously for thirty-two years, 
then his son, Charles F. Coffin, served twenty-seven, covering a period 
of fifty-nine years. No persons had such opportunities as they to know 
the representative men among the pioneer Friends, or of the growth 
and settlement of meetings. Charles Osborn, whose life work was not 
only as a minister of the Gospel, in which he traveled extensively, 
but he was the first man in America to publish an anti-slavery paper, 
called the Philanthropist, at Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, in 1816, in which he 
advocated the immediate and unconditional abolition of slavery. In 
after years it was published by Achelles Pugh of Cincinnati, and 


destroyed by a mob in the early forties. Levi Coffin was everywhere 
known as the President of the Underground Railroad, and 3000 slaves 
passed through his hands to permanent liberty. 

"Through the early days we found such staunch men in the Church 
as Wm. Hobbs, George Carter, George Evans, Thomas Evans, Robert 
Furnas, Jacob Elliott, David Baily, David Mote, Daniel Wood, Benajah 
Hiatt, James Hadley of White Lick, Robert W. Hodgson, Elezer 
Bates, Ephriam Morgan, Wm. Croseman, James Hadley of Fairfield, 
Joseph Doan, Thomas Arnett, Henry Wilson, James White, Joseph 
Cox, Daniel Williams, Wm. Talbert, John Maxwell, John Pool and 
very many others who deserve mention. These were all men univer 
sally esteemed as men of strict integrity, good judgment, deep Chris 
tian experience, sound in doctrine, well versed in the Holy Scriptures, 
and many of them able ministers of their day. While slavery was the 
over-ruling cause of the great emigration of Friends from the South, 
there were other causes. The land in the Southern States, much of 
it, had become exhausted from over-cropping, and very many had fam 
ilies growing up they wished to settle where they could procure rich, 
fertile lands at government prices." 

In 1861 there were in the South seven Quarterly Meetings, 
thirty-one places of worship, twelve Friends schools, and 
about twenty-five thousand members. Twelve years later 
the Quarterly Meeting had increased to eight, the meeting 
places to forty-four, and the schools to forty-two, while the 
membership had more than doubled. 

The Quakers increased in numbers in the various Western 
States, and in 1885 or 1886 began to settle in California 
and Oregon. Previous to this there were small Quaker 
Meetings in various parts of the coast. There are two meet 
ing-houses in the city of Pasadena, one in Los Angeles, and 
the thriving town of Whittier was founded by Friends, who 
maintain one of the best Friends colleges in the West. 

In the early settlement of eastern Indiana, the Society of 
Friends took no small part, and soon they came to consti 
tute a large and influential portion of the population. They 
early established a system of schools of both primary and 


academic grade, and not yet satisfied with this meagre 
course of instruction, they early projected a school that rap 
idly became a pioneer among Western colleges in the promo 
tion of advanced instruction. 

In 1832 the Friends launched a movement to establish a 
boarding school that should be the head of a system of 
denominational education and a site of three hundred acres 
was purchased near Richmond, Indiana. In 1837 a com 
mittee was chosen to establish the school, and in another 
year enough funds had been secured to start building. Many 
difficulties were encountered, and it was not until 1847 that 
the school was actually opened. For twelve years the 
Friends Boarding School was a distinct factor in the work 
of education in Indiana. From the time of its foundation 
both sexes were admitted on equal terms, thus placing the 
institution among the earliest co-educational schools in 

In 1859 the school received a college charter, and was 
named Earlham College. The earliest officers and teachers 
were men and women from New England, whose refine 
ment, force of character and scholarly attainments gave it 
from its beginning an enviable reputation throughout the 
Ohio Valley. 

Earlham College not only enjoys the distinction of being 
one of the first co-educational institutions in America, but of 
having been one of the foremost in the West to offer ad 
vanced practical instruction in Science. In 1853 it made 
the beginning in Indiana toward a permanent collection of 
material in Natural History for the purposes of college 
instruction. About this time the first astronomical observa 
tory in the State was established upon the campus. There 


also the first chemical laboratory in Indiana for the use of 
college students was equipped. 

The first degrees were conferred in 1862. Since then 
more than nine hundred graduates have been sent out in all 
the professions and callings. Among these are Dr. Benj. F. 
Trueblood, General Secretary of the American Peace Society ; 
Robert U. Johnson, editor of Century Magazine; S. Edgar 
Nicholson, General Secretary of the National Anti-Saloon 
League; T. Ray White, Chief Legal Counsel of the Civic 
Reform Movement in Philadelphia; and Wm. Cullen Den 
nis, former Assistant Solicitor, Department of State, Wash 
ington, D. C. The alumni are represented in nearly all the 
leading university faculties in the country. 

In Oratory, Debating and Athletics, Earlham College has 
a record of which it is proud. Since 1893 the College has 
been represented in eighteen state oratorical contests, and 
has won first place six times, second place four times, and 
third place four times. In debating, since 1898, Earlham 
has been in nineteen inter-collegiate contests and won thir 
teen. In athletics, the college record has been an enviable 
one, ranking at the head of the colleges of its class in the 

*The College has a campus of forty acres adjoining the 
City of Richmond, and overlooking the Whitewater River 
Valley. Eight spacious college buildings furnish the build 
ing equipment. Including the School of Music and College 
Extension Department, the student body last year (1910- 
191 1) numbered 642. About 240 live in dormitories on the 
campus. The home life afforded the students is one of the 

*I am indebted to Professor Harlow Lindley of Earlham College 
for this data. C. F. H. 


distinctive features of the institution. It is interesting to 
note that the Quaker idea is carried out. The College has no 
fraternities, proms, smokers or card parties, but a healthful 
social atmosphere conducive to the most wholesome student 
life is maintained. The student body is remarkably cohe 
sive and the absence of Greek letter fraternities has resulted 
in the establishment of a fraternity embracing the whole 
student body. The institution is a typical college as con 
trasted with a university. Its requirements are equivalent to 
those in the leading universities in America, but its work 
is concentrated, in the main, upon undergraduate courses. 
The management of the College is impressed with the con 
viction of the great need to-day for earnest, broad-minded 
and high-minded men, well grounded, educated and trained 
for active work and this is the goal for which the Friends 
College is striving. 



It would not have required much prescience on the part 
of the student of government to forecast the destiny of a 
nation which would attempt to hold its place in the seven 
teenth century with other nations, armed with passive resist 
ance and faith. This extraordinary argument succeeded in 
the colony of New England when the early Quaker pioneers 
won the battle from Endicott and the Puritans ; but this was 
an inter-colonial affair; it was a fight between countrymen 
who were all true to their allegiance to the King and gen 
erally obeyed him. When the colonies were established in 
America the situation changed. America loomed up suddenly 
to the powers of the world much as did Africa after the 
finding of Livingstone. It was a new field for exploration. 
The Spanish had been the pioneers, originally owning the 
entire continent, and in following years the battle was on 
among the Dutch, English and French, with smaller govern 
ments looking wistfully on. 

The early New England colonists would have had a sad 
time convincing the Indians of the fine truths of altruism, if 
their guns had not always been ready. With the Quakers, 
the Puritans put their trust in God, but here they parted. 
The Puritan kept his powder dry, while the Quaker would 
have none of it, and, as a consequence, his protection fell 
upon the rest, all of which occasioned endless dissensions. 
The amazed Indians in all the colonies were bombarded by 
the Episcopalians, Baptists, Quakers, Anabaptists, Catholics 


and many more earnest missionaries, all of whose arguments 
had little practical effect upon the savage mind. One fact 
presented itself: the white man had secured a foothold and 
gradually and insidiously he was pushing them back and 
eternally back. He was a blight upon them. They observed 
that the Quakers, of all the sects, did exactly as they prom 
ised. The Quaker word appeared to be an equivalent to a 
Puritan treaty, as while in the main all the good men of the 
Puritans and Dutch attempted to deal fairly by the Indians 
and generally paid them, the fact remains that all the Quak 
ers were morally alike. If they were Quakers, they could be 
relied upon, as the moment one of them digressed or took 
advantage of their fellow-men, he was disowned by the 
parent body. With other sects it was different. Good Puri 
tans were the rule, but there were many bad and intolerant 
ones as the terrifying times of 1656 to 1690 gave dramatic 

It is a miracle that the Quakers succeeded in making an im 
pression upon the American savage ; but it is a fact that they 
did, and that the American Indian, in the main, respected 
them, doubtless understood their principles and spared them 
on many occasions. 

With the other Christian nations it was different. The 
English captured New York, lost it to the Dutch to take it 
again, and America for years was the scene of give and take 
in the French, Indian and other wars; and in the end the 
best men, the strongest-armed force won. 

The Quakers have always advocated arbitration, and its 
last expression is the fine work of the Peace Society, Andrew 
Carnegie and his work for arbitration at The Hague, begun 
by William Penn. So long as the colony of Penn was in 


the hands of the Quakers alone, this policy of no war could 
be carried out, but William Penn welcomed the people of all 
religions and nations, and as they gradually increased in 
numbers, he found that when they demanded protection, 
which was evidently needed, he was embarassed. As a result, 
this feature aided materially the passing of the Colony from 
Quaker to the hands of those who believed in a policy of 
armed national defense. The situation was evidently impos 
sible. The non-Quaker element voted appropriations for 
guns and powder, while the Quakers voted against it, or 
would not join in paying for it, hence the end came; and the 
Free Quaker, the Quaker who would fight for his country as 
a moral and religious duty, but who did not believe in war, 
became a dominant personality. 

The first great test of the Quakers came in 1776. Pre 
vious to this they had been a political power in Rhode 
Island, New York and Pennsylvania; but when the Revo 
lution broke out and the Americans declared themselves a 
nation, a sovereign people, the Quakers were unable to more 
than protest and refuse to participate, for which they were 
denounced as traitors and ingrates. Hundreds of Quakers 
and descendants of Quakers broke the bounds and have 
fought the battles of their country in war; but the 
masses still hold to the doctrine of George Fox that war is 
a crime, indefensible and a remnant of barbarism. If the 
Quakers did not fight or would not, they were not traitors, 
they were not inactive. In the hospitals, in philanthropy, 
in educating freedmen, in caring for soldiers, they did noble 
and heroic service. 

The attitude of the Friends in the Revolution of 1776 and 
their efforts to prevent all wars might fill a large volume, as 


they have never ceased their anti-war activities from 1650 
to 1913. 

While the Friends vigorously opposed an armament, there 
was a party under the leadership of James Logan of Phila 
delphia that believed that the Friends had gone too far in 
their opposition to war. Logan publicly stated that while 
he opposed an offensive war, a war of defense was not only 
within the bounds of Christianity, but any other policy was 
suicidal ; and that any man who held such views was not fit 
ted to represent the people in the Legislature. Logan, the first 
of the Free Quakers, was a man of influence, and he soon 
had many followers. He was an intimate friend of William 
Penn and one of the most learned and brilliant of all the 
Quakers of the Colony. He came from Ulster, and at an 
early age showed remarkable scholarship, earning distinction 
in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, the sciences and classics. Follow 
ing 1699 he was a dominant figure in the Colony. A man 
of distinguished presence, broad courtesy and possessed of 
an abundance of common sense, he filled nearly all the 
more important offices in the Colony, was conspicuous for his 
faithful dealings with the Indians, and it was in his honor 
that the great chief Togahjute was called Logan. Logan 
was a friend of Linnaeus. He wrote Latin essays on repro 
duction in plants and on the aberration of light, and to him 
we owe an excellent translation of Catos Disticha, and 
Cicero s "De Senectute." On his death James Logan left 
his classical library of two thousand volumes to the city. 
It was the Logan faction of young Quakers which in 1764 
armed themselves to protect the city from the Paxton boys, 
and proposed buying a cannon, calling it a "fire engine." 

The "Paxton Boys" were part of a band who in 1763 


killed several of the Conestoga Indians who were living 

O O 

on one of William Penn s manors in Lancaster County. 
The Paxton Boys were frontiersmen enraged by depreda 
tions of the Indians on the frontier, who determined to wipe 
out all Indians. The Lancaster authorities placed the rest 
of the Conestogas in jail to protect them, but the Paxton 
Boys broke into it and killed the Indians. Assembling to 
the number of several hundred, they determined to march 
on Philadelphia and kill a number of civilized Indians who 
had been sent there for safety by the Moravians, who had 
them in charge. 

It was to repel these lynchers that some Quakers, on the 
advice of Logan, armed themselves. Isaac Sharpless sends 
to the Friends Historical Society a letter from Sarah Potts, 
later the wife of Benjamin Horner, which well describes 
the condition of affairs in Quaker homes of Philadelphia 
when menaced by the "Paxtons." Following are some ex 
tracts from this young girl s letter, dated Philadelphia, Feb 
ruary gth, 1764: 

"My very dear Sister: I expect it will give thee uncommon satis 
faction to see a letter that will convince thee thy dear sister is still in 
the land of the living, after the dreadful accounts which I make no 
doubt have before this time reached White Hill, and filled thy heart 
with the extremest anxiety for the fate of this beloved city; but with 
how much more for the fate of those still dearer friends that in 
habit it. 


On Seventh Day there was an express that the Paxtons were 
coming down in a large body well armed, as was supposed to kill all 
the Indians and all that opposed them, if in their power. The citizens 
weere immediately summoned to meet at the State House to consult 
what was to be done. The news flew about, and as is common in 
these cases lost nothing in carrying, so when it reached us the 
people were all in arms at eight o clock on a First Day morning. 
By that time it was expected the Paxton Boys would be in town, and 


it was feared the consequence would be a bloody battle, wherein a 
great many innocent people might fall. They endeavored to put 
themselves in as good a posture of defense as they could, and think 
ing the attack would be made at the barracks where the Indians were, 
turned most of their force there. * * * Came home and went to 
bed as usual, but were waked about 3 o clock with the ringing of bells, 
the alarm guns, and a dreadful cry of fire. Judge what could have 
been more terrifying at such an hour. Poor sister, how I pity her 
vhen I think of it, with only her little family about her, when in 
such distres:> obliged to conceal as much as possible her own fright 
less it should heighten the children s. 

But when day appeared it seemed to dispel the melancholy gloom 
a little which had overcast the faces of all, at least the females. We 
could now see each other and consult what was to be done. Sister 
came to our house and brought more dismal accounts than we heard 
before, that there were 900 at Germantown for certain, and it was 
expected they had a great number of friends in town who would join 
them, that the street was so full of armed men she could hardly pass, 
Quakers not excepted; they seemed as ready to take up arms in such 
a cause to defend the laws and libertys of their country against a 
parcel of rebels. Edwarc. Pennington, they say, was at the head ot 
a company, and I am to think two-thirds of the young Quakers in 
town took up arms. I believe it s very certain there were two or 
three thousand men marching about town two or three days in expec 
tation of the enemy s coming. 

The Paxton boys, which were only about 250 in number, were fre 
quently said to be 400 or 500. The big Meeting-house on Third Day, 
instead of having youths meeting, as was expected, was appropriated 
to the use of the armed men to shelter them from the rain, when the 
men were exercising and the colors flying in the gallery, from where 
there has so often doctrine been preached against that very thing of 
bearing arms, etc., etc. 

Our kind love and good wishes attend you, our dear sister and 
brother and your little ones, and that you may long be preserved from 
such tumults as we have lately felt, is the earnest desire of 

Your affectionate sister." 

Up to the Revolution, the Quakers were active in poli 
tics, but their political doom was sealed when the idea 
became fixed in the minds of the English people that the 
time had come when every man would have to fight for his 


country, or give up participation in its political affairs. The 
Quakers in the Colonies saw the shadow on the wall; they 
withdrew from politics, and refused to serve in the Legis 
lature. Many events led up to the revolution of 1776. In 
1762, fourteen years previous, the treaty of Fontainbleau 
brought to an end the French, English and Indian troubles 
which had been a menace to Pennsylvania and New Jersey; 
and hardly had the people settled down to fancied security 
when another and more serious cloud appeared on the hor 
izon, one that was to broaden and sweep from England its 
greatest and most important possession. 

Up to this time the policy of the home government had 
been not to demand taxes from the Colony; but allow them 
to raise their own taxes and employ them as they saw fit. 
The memorable history of the Stamp Act is well known. It 
was passed, despite protests in 1765, and was received in 
America in a manner at once ominous and suggestive. Vir 
ginia declared the Act invalid, Philadelphia muffled its 
bells, the papers appeared in mourning, while the flags were 
dropped to half mast. The Quakers refrained from action, 
and in an epistle to the London Meeting in 1766, we read: 
"Under the violent ferment reigning at this time in the col 
onies, the observation that the people of Pennsylvania and 
West Jersey have better to keep more free from tumults and 
riots than their neighbors, gives us cause to believe that the 
conduct and conversation of Friends hath in some measure 
tended to promote this good effect." 

The home government was so alarmed that it repealed 
the Stamp Act in 1766, but still claimed the right to tax 
the colonies, and to make a demonstration and establish a 
precedent, it imposed a three pence tax per pound on tea and 


various other articles; whereupon tea became at once a 
national issue. One of the standard jokes among the young 
Quakers of the New England coast in the nineteenth cen 
tury was that after violent easterly storms, tea always 
washed ashore, and many an unfortunate boy hunted along 
the beautiful beach of Lynn, for the tea that had been thrown 
overboard a century before. The Americans now refused to 
buy English tea, importing it direct from Holland. Over 
four hundred merchants signed a paper to this effect ; among 
them many Quakers who now found themselves facing the 
query read in the Meeting, "Are Friends careful not to 
defraud the King of his dues ?" and were obliged to confess 
that they proposed to deprive his Majesty of all his dues, 
unless the Act was repealed. This was the first "boycott," 
and the West India Company soon made so strong a pro 
test that in 1733 the Government repealed the Act. 

The Imperial Government had unwise counselors in those 
days, and they avoided the issue by putting a tax on the 
West India Company for all teas landed in America. The 
Company very naturally would have added the tax to the 
price of the tea, and made the colonists pay it in the end; 
but the Americans stood for the principle. In all these 
measures the Friends were parties. In Philadelphia the 
chief tea importers were James & Drinker, and T. & I. 
Wharton, Quakers, yet the Quakers in general sent an offi 
cial declaration to the king showing their loyalty, and a 
disposition to avoid trouble in which they were aided by Ben 
jamin Franklin. The above-mentioned Quaker firms 
shipped their tea back. Paul Revere now arrived in Philadel 
phia to secure their aid, and later came the destruction of tea 
in the harbor of Boston. I have heard my grandfather, John 


Chase Gove, a militant Quaker, tell the story given him by 
his father, who was present at the famous "tea party" in 

The situation in 1775 was menacing for Quakers. Many 
were still in the Legislature; others were violently opposed 
to any concession to the warlike feeling, and were like Rotch 
of Nantucket, who threw his bayonets overboard and sailed 
for France, while others again were convinced that it was 
their duty to stand with the Colony and did so. Numerous 
epistles were sent to the home meeting, and an exhortation 
to Friends written at this time reads as follows: 

"As divers members of our religious Society, some 
of them without their consent or knowledge, have been 
lately nominated to attend on and engage in some 
public affairs, which they cannot undertake without 
deviating from these our religious principles; we 
therefore earnestly beseech and advise them, and all 
others, to consider the end and purpose of every measure 
to which they are desired to become parties, and with great 
circumspection and care, to guard against joining in any, for 
the asserting and maintaining our rights and liberties which, 
on mature deliberation, appear not to be dictated by that 
"wisdom which is from above; which is pure, peaceable, 
gentle, full of mercy and good fruits." 

The closing of the port of Boston by the crown, and the 
imposition of a penalty incensed the people, and other 
aggressive acts brought on the war, and left the Quakers in a 
most unfortunate position. No Quaker was ever proved a 
coward. As a body they could not fight on principle, and 
it was their religious duty to advise against it. They had 
always been loyal to the king, George III., and, doubtless 


many were in sympathy with the Colony ; but as a body they 
decided on absolute neutrality, and withdrew from partici 
pation. None but brave men could have done this. As a 
result, they lost control of Pennsylvania and other places 
where they had been the dominant political powers. The 
echoes of the guns of Bunker Hill had not died away before 
the Pennsylvania Quakers began to raise money to aid their 
countrymen, and while they did not fight, up to Septem 
ber, 1776, they raised about sixteen thousand dollars. 

It was now that the "Free Quakers" came into notice, 
young Friends who took up arms in defense of the Colony, 
As soon as they were suspected the matter was taken up by 
the meeting, and if guilty, they were disowned. A thou 
sand disagreeable features presented themselves, and the 
Quakers were rent in meetings and families by 
the many interpretations of conscience. Families who would 
not contribute to the war were forced to do so by those who 
had no patience with the Quaker non-fighting idea. They 
were jailed for refusing to fight, fined for not taking the 
oath. Their houses were looted of lead, and they were 
hounded and abused to the limit of endurance. If they 
refused to enlist their household goods were taken. Isaac 
Morris of Philadelphia was forced to pay seventy-five 
pounds for refusing the oath, and a boycott was established 
on Quakers. As a humiliation, guns were tied to them, and 
in small bodies they were forced to march. All the terrors 
of 1658 seem to have returned. The Quakers were again 
on the unpopular side. 

Their enemies even forged a paper purporting to give 
information to the British of the patriot forces. This was 
signed "Spanktown Monthly Meeting," and was taken so 


seriously, though an arrant forgery, that a number of 
Quakers were banished. The following were arrested : 

"1777, Ninth Month, 2nd. William Drewitt Smith, Thomas Affleck, 
Thomas Gilpin, William Lennox, Alexander Stedman, Charles Sted- 
man, Samuel Rowland Fisher, William Inlay, James Pemberton, Miers 
Fisher, Thomas Fisher, Thomas Wharton, Edward Pennington, John 
Pemberton, Owen Jones, Jr., Charles Eddy, Joseph Fox, Thomas 
Combe, Jr., William Smith, broker. 

Ninth Month, 3rd. Henry Drinker, Charles Jervis, John Galloway, 
William Hollingshead, E. Ayres, Phineas Bond, Thomas Pike. 

Ninth Month, 4th. John Hunt, Israel Pemberton, Samuel Pleas- 

Ninth Month, 5th. Elijah Brown." 

Passive resistance was again the rule. Soldiers 
used the meeting houses as barracks, and the 
Friends met elsewhere in homes or barns. 
When their houses were looted, their grain taken, 
their horses, seized they not only did not complain, but they 
refused to take compensation. In a word, they would not, 
by thought or deed, aid in war, on the ground that it was one 
of the fundamental principles of their religious life. When 
the British entered Philadelphia they paid scant courtesy 
to the "neutrals" or Quakers, yet when the Patriots again 
took the city, they looked upon the Quakers as Tories or 
Tory sympathizers, and hanged two of them, while Robert 
Morris, James Wilson and Thomas Mifflin had narrow 
escapes. They were driven from their homes, stoned and 
beaten, and life made a continual menace. Their financial 
losses were, doubtless, over one million dollars, showing 
that neutrality during the American Revolution was an ex 
pensive luxury. 

Through the long war the Quakers stood by their moral 
code, which to-day is recognized by the greatest thinkers 


as not only practicable, but right; and at the close, they 
took up their philanthropic work for the education of the 
freedmen, and other good works and reforms. They were 
numerically weakened by the Free Quakers, who now 
formed meetings, and lived as Quakers with the exception 
that they reserved the right to take arms in defense of their 
country, and to hold office in the state or government. 

The last attacks made upon the Quakers came in 1781, 
when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington. 
The entire country was aroused to a fever of patriotism. 
The Quakers could not, under their code of morals, rejoice 
and they did not. This was seized upon as evidence of 
Tory sympathy, and they were attacked on all sides, their 
homes despoiled or ruined. Again the meeting for sufferings 
at Philadelphia presented a statement to the President and 
Executive Council and General Assembly of Pennsylvania, 
explaining their views; that they could not fight or rejoice 
at anything appertaining to war. They used all the argu 
ments in 1780 which the great peace societies are using to 
day, yet without avail. 

In 1782 came the cessation of hostilities, and a better un 
derstanding of the Quakers and their attitude resulted. 
George Washington was now elected President, the original 
confederation of states giving way to the federal constitu 
tion. The Quakers were always loyal, and the form of gov 
ernment having been decided on, they recognized and ac 
knowledged it in a loyal and patriotic address to the Presi 
dent, in which they explained that being irrevocably op 
posed to war in any shape or form, they had been unable to 
take sides or even declare their choice for or against the 
mother country; they had remained absolutely neutral. This 


address was issued by the Yearly Meeting held in Phila 
delphia on 28th of Qth month to the 3rd of loth month, 

To the President of the United States. 

The Address of the Religious Society called Quakers, 
from their Yearly Meeting for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 
Delaware, and the Western parts of Maryland and Virginia. 

"Being met in this our annual assembly, for the well ordering the 
affairs of our religious Society, and the promotion of universal right 
eousness, our minds have been drawn to consider, that the Almghty, 
who ruleth in heaven, and in the kingdom of men, has permitted a 
great revolution to take place in the government of this country; we 
are fervently concerned, that the rulers of the people may be favoured 
with the counsel of God, the only sure means of enabling them to 
fulfil the important trust committed to their charge; and, in an espe 
cial manner, that divine wisdom and grace, vouchsafed from above, 
may qualify thee to fill up the duties of the exalted station to which 
thou art appointed. 

"We are sensible thou has obtained great place in the esteem and 
affections of people of all denominations over whom thou presidest; 
and many eminent talents being committed to thy trust, we much 
desire they may be fully devoted to the Lord s honour and service 
that thus thou mayst be a happy instrument in his hand, for the suppres 
sion of vice, infidelity, and irreligion, and every species of oppression 
on the persons or consciences of men, so that righteousness and 
peace, which truly exalt a nation, may prevail throughout the land, 
as the only solid foundation that can be laid for the prosperity and 
happiness of this or any country. 

"The free toleration which the citizens of these States enjoy, in 
the public worship of the Almighty, agreeable to the dictates of their 
consciences, we esteem among the choicest of blessings; and as we 
desire to be filled with fervent charity for those who differ from us 
in matters of faith and practice, believing that the general assembly of 
saints is composed of the sincere and upright-hearted of all nations, 
kingdoms, and people; so, we trust, we may justly claim it from others; 
and in a full persuasion that the divine principle we profess, leads unto 
harmony and concord, we can take no part in carrying on war on any 
occasion, or under any power, but are bound in conscience to lead 
quiet and peaceable lives, in godliness and honesty among men, con- 


tributing freely our proportion to the indigencies of the poor, and 
to the necessary support of civil government, acknowledging those 
who rule well to be worthy of double honour, and if any professing 
with us are, or have been, of a contrary disposition and conduct, we 
owe them not therein; having never been chargeable from our first 
establishment as a religious Society, with fomenting or countenancing 
tumults or conspiracies, or disrespect to those who are placed in 
authority over us. 

"We wish not improperly to intrude on thy time or patience, nor 
is it our practice to offer adulation to any; but as we are a people 
whose principles and conduct have been misrepresented and traduced, 
we take the liberty to assure thee that we feel our hearts affection 
ately drawn towards thee, and those in authority over us, with prayers, 
that thy presidency may under the blessing of Heaven, be happy to 
thyself and to the people; that through the increase of morality and 
true religion, Divine Providence may condescend to look down upon 
our land with a propitious eye, and bless the inhabitants with the con 
tinuance of peace, the dew of Heaven, and the fatness of the earth, 
and enable us gratefully to acknowledge his manifold mercies: and it 
is our earnest concern, that He may be pleased to grant thee every 
necessary qualification to fill thy weighty and important station to his 
glory; and, that finally, when all terrestrial honours shall fail and pass 
away, thou and thy respectable consort may be found worthy to re 
ceive a crown of unfading righteousness in the mansions of peace and 
joy forever. 

"Signed in and on behalf of the said meeting, held in Philadelphia 
by adjournments, from the 28th of the Ninth Month, to the 3rd of the 
Tenth Month inclusive, 1789." 

"Nicholas Wain, Clerk." 

To this the President replied as follows: 

"The answer of the President of the United States, to the Address 
of the Religious Society called Quakers, from their Yearly Meeting 
for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Western Parts of 
Maryland and Virginia. 

"Gentlemen, I receive with pleasure your affectionate address, and 
thank you for the friendly sentiments and good wishes which you ex 
press for the success of my administration, and for my personal hap 

"We have reason to rejoice for the prospect, that the national gov 
ernment, which, by the favour of Divine Providence, was formed by 
common councils, and peaceably established with the common consent 
of the people, will prove a blessing to every denomination of them; to 


render it such, my best endeavours shall not be wanting. Government 
being among other purposes instituted to protect the persons and 
consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of rulers, 
not only to abstain from it themselves, but according to their stations 
to prevent it in others. 

"The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States of worshipping 
Almighty God agreeably to their consciences, is not only among the 
choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights; while men perform 
their social duties faithfully, they do all that society or the state can 
with propriety expect or demand, and remain responsible only to their 
Maker for the religion or mode of faith which they may prefer or 

"Your principes and conduct are well known to me; and it is doing 
the people called Quakers no more than justice to say that (except 
their declining to share with others, the burthen of the common de 
fence) there is no denomination among us who are more exemplary 
and useful citizens. I assure you very explicitly that in my opinion, the 
conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great deli 
cacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may 
always be as extensively accommodated to them, as due regard to the 
protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit. 

(Signed) "George Washington." 

The modern Quakers would not fight, but they served 
nobly in every other capacity. The Quakers worked in hos 
pitals, on the field as nurses, in the great sanitary commis 
sions to aid the wounded. They supplied large sums for aid 
in all directions, and after the war they did yeoman s service 
during the reconstructive period. The Quakers of New 
England Yearly Meeting recognized the fact that the negro 
was unfitted for citizenship, and many of them, earnest in 
their belief that Abraham Lincoln had made a mistake in 
giving this vast horde of slaves full rights of citizenship 
without any preparation, established schools in various sec 
tions for the education of the negro, proposing to prepare 
him for the citizenship that had come to him so suddenly. 
One of these was called the Freedmans School. It was 


established in Washington, where a little band of Quakers 
from the New England Yearly Meeting began the educa 
tion of the negro, old and young, a most difficult and un 
promising work. 

This was carried on for years, and hundreds of negroes 
given a fundamental training. In this large school under 
the direction of a committee of the New England Meeting, 
of whom Charles F. Coffin, Maria Coffin, Joseph 
Grinnell of New Bedford, Edward and Annie B. 
Earle of Worcester, Hannah G. Gove, John Chase 
Gove, of Lynn, and others, served as members, 
the latter having for several years the directing 
control. This work of the Quakers was illustrative of their 
activities in many directions immediately following the war; 
and is one of the reasons why the name Quaker is a syno 
nym of honor, fidelity and faithfulness throughout the 
world. The anti-war theories of the Quakers which had 
their beginning in 1656 in America with the entrance of 
Christopher Holder and his little band, were two and a half 
centuries ahead of their time; but like many other views 
have been recognized as an anticipation of great and funda 
mental truths. 

In the American War of the Rebellion of the sixties, the 
attitude of the Quakers concerning war remained unchanged 
with this exception: thousands of men and women of all 
sects and denominations had been convinced that the war 
was not only hell, as General Sherman forcibly expressed it, 
but that it was a crime, a remnant of barbarism. I have 
recently listened to a notable address given by David Starr 
Jordan, who took the biological side of the argument that 
the best physically, the most virile of the young men were 


killed in the wars of all countries. The weaklings were 
left at home to perpetuate the race, which resulted in a con 
tinual repression of the normal tendency of nature to im 
prove and produce a higher, better and stronger race. To 
day there are peace societies of various kinds in every large 
country England, the continent and America, and thou 
sands of men and women of all denominations are working 
and legislating to make this doctrine of the Quakers a law. 
They will succeed. War will cease by the agreement of 
great nations, and laws preventing great capitalists, as the 
Rothschilds and others, from loaning nations money to carry 
on war will be agreed on. Armies will then be reduced to a 
size sufficient only for national police. 

The Quakers were often drafted during the Civil War 
in America, on both sides, but they refused to fight, while 
there were many free Quakers who in 1860 held the opinion 
James Logan entertained during the Revolution. The 
author s father, Dr. Joseph Bassett Holder, entered the 
army, and served during the entire war at the Dry Tortugas, 
Florida, as surgeon, saving many lives by his skill in fight